Wauseon school has four-legged counselor

WAUSEON, Ohio--New members of a school's staff sometimes can take some time to work in, although it's easier when a new staffer has four legs, like Kramer, the new counselor at Burr Road Middle School.

Kramer, a 2 1/2-year-old, part Lab-part Poodle, or Labradoodle, has been bow-wowing Burr Road's 500 students since his first day on the job in October.

"This is so awesome," sixth grader Jake Fitzpatrick told the Toledo Blade's Janet Romaker. "He looks nice. He's going to be good to talk to too. I have always wanted a dog, and now I have one."

A specialist in unconditional love, Kramer greets students arriving at school in the morning and listens to students needing a friendly tail wag. In fact, listening to student problems is a big part of Kramer's job, Principal Joseph Friess told The Gadfly.

"Just about every one of these kids touches him some day, either dropping down and hugging him or just brushing a hand over him," Friess said. "He puts in some pretty long days....He'll go to the basketball games with me. Sometimes we don't get home until 7 PM."

Kramer lives with Friess, who feeds and cares for him. Students help, occasionally hauling big bags of dog food to school. A local vet also donates care.

Both man and dog received training from Assistance Dogs of America in nearby Swanton, Ohio, before going on the job.

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