Therapy dog assists Crater H.S. students

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — A beloved staff member at Crater High School is changing lives, in return for treats and hugs.

Baylor the Boxer works as a therapy dog at the school and helps students going through tough times. She has been working at the high school for about a year and a half, but just in that short amount of time, she has left a lasting impression on countless lives.

Her owner Tia Khachitphet is a mental health therapist for La Clinica at Crater.

“She’s definitely brought, you know a good presence to the school,” Khachitphet said.

As a certified therapy dog, Baylor was originally brought in after a student died in 2018.

“We went in to the classrooms and helped provide support and you know, it kind of started out with the classrooms being a little tense and people not really interacting and bringing her in, we were able to really kind of lighten things up,” Khachitphet said.

During her tenure, Baylor has assisted students through mental health crisis, anxiety and overall stress. She was also a member of a support group after a substitute teacher died.

“When she’s here, she knows ‘I’m here to give them kisses and love and make things better,'” Khachitphet said.

When Baylor isn’t at her full-time job at the high school, she also volunteers in a hospital.

“Being able to like have a dog here that can give them unconditional love and can also help be a distraction for when they start kind of feeling overwhelmed,” Khachitphet said.

La Clinica has 13 school-based clinics in the Rogue Valley. Being La Clinica’s only therapy dog, has made Baylor quite the celebrity. The Boxer even has her own staff badge and business cards.

“I’m gonna push for her to get in the yearbook this year,” Khachitphet said.

Baylor is more than just a therapy dog, she is also miss Sept. 2020 in a new Boxer calendar.

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