Salisbury East

Remembering the Special Contribution of Olive the Therapy Dog

On Tuesday 23 May 2023 at 6:00am, one of our three beloved therapy dogs and Ms Fletcher’s family dog, Olive, passed peacefully at home.

Olive journey began in the See Differently breeding programme, formerly known as The Royal Society for the Blind. Originally trained as a guide dog to assist individuals with visual impairments, Olive soon found her way to Tyndale for training purposes with Mr. Lonsdale. While boarding with Mr Lonsdale, she continued her training at See Differently and went to work with a vision-impaired client for some time.

Her gentle and calming presence was meant to provide support to students who felt stressed or anxious. It was evident that Olive’s purpose was far beyond the traditional role of a guide dog.

Her personality was better suited to being a therapy dog, bringing comfort and support to those who needed it.

From the moment Olive arrived at Tyndale, she formed an bond with Zena, a fellow furry friend, spending their downtime together in the Aquarium. After a brief trial period, Olive found her true calling at Tyndale. She quickly became an integral part of the Wellbeing Team, known for her reluctance to move quickly and uncanny ability to find every shortcut.

She really took to being part of our community. In the 6 years that Olive worked here, she was by the door at 7:00am in the morning and she never missed a day’s work.

Her favourite part of the day was spending time with Mr Whitehead. Ms Fletcher was allowed to feed and home her but her heart was also shared with Mr and Mrs Whitehead and so she was frequently part of his classes.

She completed a variety of roles around the school, she went to assemblies, we used her in a Year 12 exam to alleviate anxiety and even made appearances in the Advertiser.

Olive did a lot of marketing for Tyndale, she met politicians, attended parent teacher interviews, attended musicals, Yearbook collection night, and she went through new student interviews. She helped out at School tours but they weren’t her favourite because they involved walking.

She loved spending time in the Junior School, in the Healthcare Centre, and being patted by students because she could receive plenty of pats lying down.

On the day the PE staff re-sprayed the oval lines, Olive couldn’t resist rolling in the paint and smearing it all over her face. It took a week to get the paint out.

She loved sticks. The school quickly ran out of sticks so Ms Fletcher has to import sticks from home. Additionally, she loved frisbees, and managed to ingest 5 throughout her lifetime.

However, Olive’s greatest joy was sleeping. She was the star of the play “The Dog in the Nighttime”, where her peaceful slumber captivated audiences and added a touch of charm to the production.

We are thankful Olive faithfully served the Tyndale community as one of our therapy dogs and remember her contribution to the wellbeing of our students. She will be dearly missed by those who were blessed to know her in the schoolyard and receive support and comfort during difficult seasons.

Rest in eternal peace, Olive. We can imagine you running freely alongside a peaceful creek full of joy.

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