CASSTOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – When Arleigh is not roaming the halls of Miami East High School and greeting his favorite humans, he might stop by a class or two.
He belongs to Nicole Bailey.
Her husband had to beg Bailey to get him.
“Because he wanted it to be in the house. And I’m like No dogs in the house!” said Bailey.
The good news for Bailey and her Miami East students, she caved and eventually after getting Arleigh, Bailey and her husband started training him to be a service dog for hospice patients.
However, Arleigh soon had another purpose.
“Through the program. I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” said Bailey.
Doctors told Bailey that she had just a few months left to live.
Bailey’s husband planned on stopping Arleigh’s training.
“I kind of put my foot down and I said no. I want him to finish the training. Really for selfish reasons. Because I wanted him to be able to come visit me if need be,” said Bailey.
Bailey had Arleigh by her side every step of the way.
The cancer came in April of 2015 and by 2016, Bailey was on the mend. She even returned to class at Miami East.
When Bailey came back to school, Arleigh would make the occasional visit. Eventually, students and staff expected that their new furry friend would great them everyday.
“I know first hand what he can do for a person that is struggling,” said Bailey.
High school is hard. Bailey says Arleigh has a profoundly positive impact on everyone.
Her boss agrees.
“If a dog can help those kids feel better and more safe and secure. We will do anything we can,” said Miami East Principle, Todd Gentis.
A furry friend, turned school mascot, will never stop loving his job.
“He pulls the leash out of my hand. Like he’s saying I know where I’m going. This is my school,” said Bailey.
View a comprehensive story on both Bailey and Arleigh by our partner paper, written by the Troy Daily News, here.