He is fast becoming Worthing’s answer to Lassie. But despite Buddy the border collie’s growing fame, he still finds enough time to help the students at Worthing High School.
The three-year-old goes into school four days a week and helps students with learning difficulties who are taught by assistant headteacher Lou Gatford.
After a video taken by the Herald received 19,000 hits, Buddy’s star has been on the rise, with BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat team visiting Worthing High School on March 8 to film the popular pooch. Read our initial story about Buddy here.
Mrs Gatford, who is also the dog’s owner, said she was ‘very surprised’ by Buddy’s fame, but said if it meant more young people and parents were talking about mental health issues, it was a ‘good thing’.
She said: “I have had people stop me in the street to ask me if that is the Worthing High School dog!
“I always thought he would have a positive impact on students and staff but it has been broader than that.”
The celebrity canine has been on Twitter since December. Tweeting under @WHS_Buddy_Dog, Mrs Gatford has kept Buddy’s followers updated with pictures of her dog on walks and watching matches at Worthing Rugby Club.
On Instagram, Buddy has 246 followers under the name @buddytheworthinghighschooldog, and like all celebrities worth their salt, they have someone else to upload their pictures. This someone is the school’s print manager Jamie Peacock, who said Buddy is ‘loving the attention’. He said: “He really struts around the school. He’s gaining more and more confidence.”
Buddy has also proven to be a trendsetter.
Mr Peacock said other local schools have approached Worthing High about how to get a school dog – and Danish students and teachers who visited were also impressed with Buddy. It is far from a dog’s life for this hound.
I have had people stop me in the street to ask me if that is the Worthing High School dog!Lou Gatford
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