The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

FEATURE: Dog Tales

Marlo the new puppy brings joy and comfort to students
Eli Roust
Security guard Demetrius Kemp poses with Free state therapy dog Wayne and new addition Marlo along with students at the Trunk-or-Treat.

On Oct. 16, Marlo was brought to school by security guard Demetrius Kemp. Students have enjoyed this newest addition to the school and hope to see a lot more of Marlo.

“Having a therapy dog in our hallways brings smiles to lots of faces,” counselor Julia Johnson said. “He goes on walks with students and spends time with them when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.”

Everyone knows and loves Wayne, Free States therapy dog, who Marlo has joined in the halls. According to Dee Kemp, Marlo is just like Wayne. He’s super smart and he learns fast. He’s had Marlo for just a few weeks and he already knows how to sit, shake, hi five, lay down and stay.

“He’s such a well behaved dog for such a young age,” sophomore Mallory Oliver said. “Marlo and Wayne are both so loveable and smart.”

Todd Michaelis is one of Marlos caretakers and watches him on the weekdays. He says that Marlo is a very curious and energetic dog, and loves to explore. He also loves listening to Steely Dan during breaks.

“Sometimes all a person needs is unconditional love for a moment, and that is what dogs like Marlo specialize in,” Michaelis said. “He will make a wonderful companion dog once he is a little older and has matured a little.”

Dr. Suzanne Steinbuam said that therapy dogs are a great way to calm students’ anxiety and to help them feel more comfortable. Research shows that dogs can reduce stress and depression and ease loneliness. According to, just playing with a dog has been shown to raise the levels of good brain chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine.

“It helps because now the kids that would only talk to a social worker, counselor or someone they already know will now come to me and talk or take the dog for a walk,” Kemp said, “Some kids don’t have anybody to talk to and the things they will tell a dog helps us know how to help them.”

Marlo is currently working on getting certified as a service dog, so we can expect to see a lot more of him this school year.

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