Diggle and friend

In his third year at Lockland Local Schools, Mr. Diggle has become quite the sensation. Whenever he steps into a classroom, all eyes immediately gravitate toward him, with students eagerly calling out his name.

With a cheerful wag of his tail, the 3-year-old black Labrador spreads happiness and warmth as he lovingly greets both students and staff alike. But Mr. Diggle possesses more than just charm – he possesses a remarkable ability to sense when a student could benefit from some extra comfort.

One poignant example of Mr. Diggle's intuition occurred last school year when he and his handler, teacher Kristin Gibson, were making their rounds. Upon entering a classroom, Mr. Diggle noticed a student in distress. Ignoring the clamor of other students vying for his attention, he made a beeline for the tearful student, gently nudging their arm until they made space for him. With his head resting on their lap, Mr. Diggle provided solace until the tears ceased.

This touching display encapsulates the profound impact Mr. Diggle has had since joining the Lockland Schools community. His presence was envisioned as a source of comfort and joy, a vision realized through Ms. Gibson's initiative and Superintendent Bob Longworth's support.

Mr. Diggle is from Circle Tail. They specialize in assistance dogs and place dogs in schools and with people with disabilities.

Having been part of Lockland Schools as a Lockland Class of 1999 graduate and a Lockland teacher for nearly two decades, Ms. Gibson recognized the transformative potential of a facility dog. Drawing from her own experiences as both a graduate and educator, she championed the idea, believing it would enrich the lives of students and staff alike.

Officially starting his role with the 2021-2022 school year, Mr. Diggle underwent extensive training alongside Ms. Gibson to ensure his seamless integration into school life. Now a familiar sight in the halls, Mr. Diggle, accompanied by trained handlers like Counselor Anne Merrill and School Psychologist Jenny Bole, brings joy and comfort wherever he goes.

Whether he's offering cuddles, spreading cheer, or simply brightening someone's day with his presence, Mr. Diggle's impact is undeniable. As Ms. Gibson aptly puts it, "The smiles he elicits speak volumes - he truly has a way of uplifting spirits with just a wag of his tail."