Get our newsletters

Gayman students pay it forward for special friend


Gus, a Roxy Therapy Dog, is a regular visitor to Amy Bullard’s fourth-grade class at Gayman Elementary School.

The students love their visits from Gus, an 11-year-old pug that is 20 pounds of love and personality. The students read to Gus, as he listens with attention, “It’s a true highlight of his day,” said Gus’s owner, Roxy volunteer Bev Seltzer.

Gus and Seltzer have been a part of the Roxy program for eight years, notes Sharon Fleck, president of Roxy Therapy Dogs. “Gus is very ‘paws on,’” Fleck said, “He loves to sit as close to his kids as he can, even if that means sitting on their desk right in front of their face.”

Fleck describes Gus as “a little pup disguised as a distinguished gentleman with his gray muzzle.”

But as Gus grew older, Bullard and her class noticed that the years were taking a toll on Gus. He was having a hard time on the slippery floors, and it was taking him longer and longer to make the walk from the office to her class.

“To help Gus and so that we would get to class quicker, I would carry him down,” Seltzer explained, “He loves going to school so much.”

“By the time I would get to class, I was out of breath from carrying my baby who wanted more than anything to be with the children,” Seltzer explained.

“Gayman’s school theme is kindness and we are always trying to find ways to ‘pay it forward,’” Bullard said. “We wanted to come up with a special way to show Gus and Miss Bev how much we appreciate their dedication to our classroom.”

Bullard and her class had a class meeting in February and decided together that the students would earn money to put toward a stroller for Gus. For the first two weeks of the month, Bullard’s students set tables, emptied dishwashers, and took out the trash to earn $2 each. “The money kept coming in along with some great stories about ways they earned it,” Bullard said.

Finally, the students reached their goal and the class placed the order on Amazon. “Seeing Miss Bev push Gus down the hall for the first time in his new stroller was the happiest moment for my kids,” Bullard recalled.

“This class is a very special one for Gus, and we will cherish their kindness forever,” Seltzer exclaimed.

“Gus and Miss Bev bring us such happiness. It was only right to make their lives a bit easier too,” Bullard added.