MACKINAW (WEEK) — The Dee-Mack High School selection for grand marshal at this year’s homecoming parade was a little out of the ordinary, but well deserved.
AJ and Charlie, the school’s therapy and emotional support dogs, were voted in as this year’s grand marshals by the student council earlier this week.
The two will lead the parade on Friday before the homecoming football game against Fischer.
At the parade, wristbands with, “AJ and Charlie love you,” will be handed out, along with dog-bone shaped candy by their handlers.
AJ belongs to Dee-Mack math teacher Robin Coon and Charlie belongs to Sharon Boucher, technical support guru.
It was last year when Superintendent Michele Jacobs recognized Charlie’s impact when he visited the high school during the school day. Jacobs saw the attitudes and perspectives of students, faculty and staff change for the better.
Coon then decided to have AJ trained as a therapy dog for the students.
AJ and Charlie are now full-time canine companions to the students and staff at Dee-Mack High School.
“Many students struggle with anxiety, depression, or emotional issues – helping students to cope with these and everyday life issues continue as a district-wide initiative. AJ and Charlie are an essential part of this initiative,” Boucher said. “Just watching a stressed out student’s face relax and smile after reaching out to pet, play, or just stroke AJ or Charlie, proves just how valuable an asset these two pups have become at Dee-Mack High School.”
Photo courtesy of Sharon Boucher of Dee-Mack High School.