In other classrooms, students can be found learning important lessons from a dog. Specially trained facility dogs help students learn a host of tasks – everything from overcoming fears to patience and perseverance, from speech and interaction to listening and following directions. Children with special needs especially benefit from working with a facility dog each day. Brushing the dog, taking him for walks, and playing fetch all help to develop gross motor skills and reduce stress in the classroom. Children who struggle with social interaction can also find a reassuring friend in a service dog.“The dog has a very calming effect,” says Jeanine Konoleski of Canine Companions for Independence. “It’s just a different bond between a human and an animal that’s amazing to see.” The organization, which breeds, raises, and trains dogs to work as service dogs for the disabled, sends so-called facility dogs to classrooms across the country, where teachers are trained to use their dog in the classroom, practicing everything from math using dog food measurements to writing with the dog as a subject.