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Published: May. 16, 2024 at 4:59 PM MST

FLASHER, N.D. (KFYR/Gray News) – It’s no secret that students at Flasher High School love therapy K-9 Major Teddy Hugz when he comes to visit.

“When Tommy will let him go, and he’ll just run to a student or a specific teacher or room that he is familiar with and just kind of enlightens the whole school,” said freshman Brenna Eckroth.

However, the school’s resource officer and Major’s handler Deputy Tommy can’t be in all of the schools he serves at once.

That’s when an idea came to high school students Carrie, Ellie, and Brenna.

“We love Tommy, so it was fun to give back to what he has done for us,” said freshman Carrie LaDuke.

Good Dog Story

Through their FCCLA Club, they made puppy chow, and all the proceeds went to buying stuffed animals that look like their favorite classmate.

Major Teddy Hugz with his stuffed animal doppelgangers (KFYR-TV)

Major Teddy Hugz with his stuffed animal doppelgangers (KFYR-TV)

“Because it’s nice for the little kids to have someone here when Major is not here, that they can go to as a companion,” said sophomore Ellie Skretteberg.

They had enough money to give one to all the elementary school classrooms, the special education room, the library, and the music room. Deputy Tommy even received two to give to crime victims.

Major Teddy Hugz with his stuffed animal doppelgangers

“It’s really satisfying knowing they have a part of Major and our agency to help through the day,” said Deputy Tommy.

The story doesn’t end there. Flasher’s Masonic Lodge heard about the initiative and also wanted to give back to a community that has helped them before.

“[We did it] because a couple of years ago, we needed shingles replaced on our lodge and we really didn’t have the money to do it. But through the community organizations and members of the community, we were able to do it,” said Alan Malm of the Masonic Lodge.

The Masonic Lodge bought all of the remaining dogs from Amazon to give to Deputy Tommy.

“It feels so great that more people love what we did and want to contribute to it,” said Ellie.

“I think we were surprised how expanded here and how far it has gone from our school. It just means more,” said Brenna.

Be Your Dog!

Carrie, Ellie and Brenna say they can see the difference it’s made in Flasher.

“They also loved naming him. That was a big thing for them all to figure out what they were going to name their dogs. I heard really good feedback from it,” said Ellie.

Now the new dogs will go to students in New Salem.

“Major’s role in helping people and being able to do this and continue helping people is pretty awesome,” said Deputy Tommy.

The girls say they hope these dogs will help spread a positive message to make a “Major” difference in schools around the state.

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