Shelter Puppy Gets A Chance To Hang Out With First-Graders, Ends Up In A Forever Home


For dogs, a shelter is certainly better than being on the street. It provides them with food, water, care, and a roof over their heads. However, what is even more important, it gives them hope and the opportunity to eventually meet their happy ending. 

Brooke Hughes, a teacher at Hanby Elementary School, located in Wilmington, Delaware, was certainly aware of this when she chose Josie, a resident of Rags 2 Riches Animal Rescue, a shelter located in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, for her special program. 

She picked Josie to be her classroom puppy and interact with her pupils, helping them develop in every way. This new role would soon change Josie’s life forever. 

Video That Changed Everything

puppy on a pink leash
Source: @fostertalespt

According to Newsweek, Josie was one of the five puppies who were brought from South Carolina to Rags 2 Riches Animal Rescue. Instead of spending her days between the four walls of her kennel, she was lucky to be noticed by Brooke. 

Aside from being a teacher at Hanby Elementary School, as a big dog lover, Brooke is also the founder of Foster Tales Puppy Therapy. It is a program in which puppies are trained to provide social and emotional support, mostly for schoolchildren

That’s how our Josie became a classroom puppy and evolved as the favorite among children. However, she could not have dreamed how much happiness one trip to school would bring her, all thanks to a TikTok video posted by @fostertalespt

puppy playing with first graders
Source: @fostertalespt

Although Brooke regularly published videos about Josie before, this one attracted special attention from one elementary school counselor. 

“She saw her video and was inspired to adopt a puppy that has experience in a classroom that would be a good fit for an emotional support pup,” Brooke said. 

It was truly a win-win situation for Josie, not just because she found a forever home, but also because she was able to continue doing what she truly loves

“She is going to train her in hopes for her to become an emotional support dog back in her happy place—schools,” Brooke happily concluded. 

The life-changing video from the school in Wilmington, Delaware is right below. 


I’m a classroom puppy, of course I love it here while I wait for my forever family. 💜🐶🩵#classroompuppies #fosteringsaveslives #puppiesoftiktok #adoptdontshop #teachertok #puppy

♬ original sound – Foster Tales Puppy Therapy

Amazing Benefits

Brooke started fostering puppies during the pandemic and used them in her virtual classes. She was immediately amazed by the results and realized that this would be a beautiful story. 

“I could tell that even through a screen, these puppies were making a positive impact,” Brooke said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about all the wonderful benefits the puppies could bring to our students and staff.”

puppy lying next to a little girl
Source: @fostertalespt

Brooke believes that “[puppies] play a crucial role in supporting mental health by providing comfort, companionship, and reducing stress and anxiety levels among the students.”

She also thinks that puppies can help children of this age learn to develop social skills and emotional intelligence more easily. Aside from that, they can learn from a young age how to care for and train the pups, understanding more about teamwork, self-regulation, and patience. 

Also, the dogs themselves can grow and develop through this interaction, and some of them, like Josie, even meet their happy ending. In fact, quite a few have already found their forever homes this way, and that speaks for itself. 

little girl carrying a puppy
Source: @fostertalespt

Ultimately, Brooke hopes this story will inspire other teachers to start tapping into the potential of man’s best friend. Not only will they do a good deed by rescuing a dog from a shelter, but they will also help their students develop into truly good souls.