Students at Judson ISD lean on Jojo for comfort and therapy

SAN ANTONIO – Judson ISD students have a new four-legged friend and her name is Joy, but everyone calls her Jojo.

“She’s so cute and cuddly. I feel like she makes everybody’s day better,” said Bella DeLaTorre, fifth grade student at Rolling Meadows Elementary School.

The almost two-year-old miniature goldendoodle visits students at different campuses with school counselor, Tiffany Gutierrez.

“Sometimes they have big emotions, especially with the little ones and they are learning those self management skills, those self regulation skills and a dog can be really great managing those,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez says Jojo is an extension of what a counselor can provide, including a safe space to be yourself.

Jojo knows basic commands and she is on her way to be a certified therapy dog.

“She is learning to hear my voice. Learning to listen to my commands, so that she is safe, and the students are safe,” Gutierrez said.

DeLaTorre said when she is having a difficult day, she can count on Jojo to make it better.

“Sometimes I get a little bit antsy because I don’t want to get a bad grade, but she makes me happy,” DeLaTorre said.

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.