LAKEVILLE, Minn. (FOX 9) - A Lakeville, Minnesota elementary school resource dog is back on the job after losing a leg to cancer.
The seven-year-old dog named Seamus has spent the past 10 weeks recovering from surgery. Monday morning, he was welcomed back to Lake Marion Elementary with open arms.
“He’s still the calm dog you see right now, he’s no different than what he was before, he just is missing a leg,” said Lake Marion Principal and Seamus' primary handler, Bret Domstrand.
In November, Seamus was diagnosed with cancer in the elbow. His left front leg was amputated to prevent the disease from spreading.
“It was a very hard choice to make, but now when I look at Seamus today, I know we made the right decision,” said Domstrand
He says the dog’s absence created a void.
“Whether it’s students who have anxiety or a reluctance to read or any of those pieces, Seamus is the one who kind of serves that motivating factor for the kids,” said Domstrand.
After learning how to walk again and taking time to heal, the one-time service dog is back. The students couldn't be more excited.
“I’m really happy that Seamus is back,” said Justin Olson, a fourth grade student. “He’s part of our school and he’s just really fun to be back.”
Adjusting to a new normal, Seamus is also teaching a valuable lesson.
“I think it’s kind of cool,” said Haven Hilgenbrad, a student. “It makes him different, but it’s cool.”
“When you say what is one of your favorite things about school, they’re like, ‘I get to see Seamus,’” said Domstrand. “It really makes a difference in their day.”
The Parent Teacher Organization paid the $3,000 bill for the amputation. The school is selling Seamus stuffed animals to continue to raise money for his needs.