School's best friend

NEW FRIENDS: Gunbower Primary School's newest member, Luna the greyhound joined students, Leo and William Ryan for recess.

NEW FRIENDS: Gunbower Primary School's newest member, Luna the greyhound joined students, Leo and William Ryan for recess.

GUNBOWER Primary School students have a new classmate - Luna the learning dog.

The two-year-old greyhound joined the classroom in April and is bringing multiple benefits to the learning environment, according to principal Judith Martin.

"I had a friend who worked at Echuca Specialist School, and they had a dog. I had it in the back of mind [after that], and I did a bit of research about the benefits and it went from there," she said.

"From a social point of view , the kids will come over [to pat the dog], and they will chat. It's a water cooler effect." 

There are also benefits to student wellbeing. 

"I'll be sitting with two girls who hurt their wrists and patting Luna will make them feel better," Ms Martin said. 

Luna fits right in with her very own school jumper, which will help to keep her warm during winter recesses and lunchtimes with the students.

She came from the Greyhound Adoption Program and went through a screening process to ensure she was suitable for the school environment. 

She wears a bright green collar which signifies that she has been tested for temperament.

Greyhounds are known for their placid and calm natures and Ms Martin said that it made her a great choice for the children. 

"She has a very calming affect on the kids," she said.

Lessons have included how to pat her - collar to tail - and how to interact with her in other ways. 

Staff have also been lapping up the love.

"The teachers all come and pat her. When you're a family with a pet it is considered part of your family - we're a school family," Ms Martin said.

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