When Glenwood Ridge Elementary students found out that the sister of their service dog Google needed surgery, they sprang into action. 

Google, a female black Labrador retriever, helps students in the district with their social skills. Trained by Kansas Specialty Dog Service, litters of service dogs are given names with a certain theme. Google’s sister is Skype, who is a service dog at Lexington Trails Middle School in DeSoto.

Skype became very ill and, after seeing a veterinarian, it was discovered that she had a heart arrhythmia. Medication did not solve the problem and the fear was that Skype’s heart would stop beating at any time. The only hope was for a cardio ablation, which is common in humans but not dogs. An Ohio veterinary cardiologist has the ability to do the procedure, but the cost was going to be overwhelming. Between the surgery, X-rays, bloodwork, travel and follow-up visits, the bill was going to be nearly $8,500.

GRE students put together a “Dollars for Dogs” campaign in mid-January with classrooms competing against each other to see which class could raise the most money.  The winning classroom would get to keep Google in their classroom for a full day.  

Holly Dulaney’s fourth-grade class won and enjoyed  interacting with Google for an entire day. Dulaney’s class raised more than $300, including funds raised by student Ella Snyder, who made and sold cake balls.

So many classrooms did such an outstanding job of raising money that six honorable mention classes were awarded an hour with Google. Staff members also helped with fundraising and were allowed to wear jeans to school if they donated funds.  

“I am so proud of our Glenwood Ridge students and our community for their generosity in supporting the fundraiser for Google’s sister Skype,” said GRE Principal Jan Hancock. “Google is such an important part of our school, bringing smiles and comforting our students. We know how important social dogs are to those they serve and we are so glad Skype is well enough to once again be back with the students of Lexington Trails Middle School.”

GRE’s student council was able to present a check in the amount of $2,188.09 to help with Skype’s medical bills.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com