Therapy Dogs Help Virginia Elementary Students Cope With Loss of Classmate

"They just want to know that they're safe because they don't understand this concept of death, necessarily"

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A group of therapy dogs visited an elementary school in Fauquier County, Virginia, Tuesday to help children following the death of their 6-year-old classmate.

Wyatt Norwood and his mother, Jennifer Norwood, were shot and killed Friday night at their home. Wyatt's 17-year-old brother, Levi Norwood, was charged in the murders.

On Tuesday, Wyatt's classmates at Mary Walter Elementary School came back to school feeling the loss of their friend.

“One of the students said to me, ‘Wyatt isn’t here' and I said, ‘Yes, I know,’” said Alex O'Dell, the principal of the school.

Therapy dogs were on hand to help offer the students a break from the tragedy.

“At least for that little bit of time you get to go whew,” dog handler Samone Puffenbarger told the students.

"All the dogs we have here are always super super nice," she said.


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O'Dell said some students have asked for help talking about the tragedy.

“They just want to know that they’re safe because they don’t understand this concept of death, necessarily,” he said.

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