First-grader Carson Effinger said he was nervous on his first day of school until he met Ayla, the school's therapy dog.
"I saw her in the office," said Carson.
He said she made him feel safe.
"She was the first friend I saw at school," said Carson.
"Research shows that having a pet is a calming effect. That it can help students center themselves, take a break," said Andrea Boen, school counselor.
That is why Williams/Ledger Elementary invited Ayla onto its campus.
"We always integrate her being here in our social skills, practicing manners and thoughtfulness and what it is to listen. She role models listening," said Boen.
Carson was not the only student who called Ayla their friend.
Students said seeing Ayla makes them feel happy.
"Because I get to see a dog at school," said Carson.
"Because she's the only great dog," first-grader Joe Perez said.
Williams/Ledger Elementary was the first Copperas Cove ISD school to invite a therapy dog to its campus, and just last week Clements/Parsons Elementary invited one of their own.
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