A unique member of our Staff at Red Barn Academy is a joy to have around – meet “Willow”…She has become a reliable member of our team. While it has been hard to replace Ruby, Willow has her own story to tell. She is 7 years old now and doing well in her classes here at the farm. Willow is a pedigreed Australian Labradoodle, bred specifically for service with her wonderfully calm temperament and sharp intelligence. She is a constant reminder to all of us of patience and quite persistence in all that we do.
Research shows that well-trained service dogs can bring significant health benefits to the students – reducing anxiety and stress, lowering heart rate and blood pressure and even boosting natural levels of hormones that promote a sense of well-being. Her name comes from a cousin at Hazelden, a national addiction recovery foundation. Animal assisted care is part of the experiential therapy being provided here at Red Barn Academy…The name “Willow” is a reminder that the willow tree’s flexible, bendable branches, are unlike any other tree and symbolize adapting with change; in some cultures, the weeping willow was planted in honor of a birth or marriage – we have many of them here at the Farm. A symbol of beauty, melancholy, and spiritual connection, according to mythology, it symbolizes deep emotions, intuition and dreaming, and it is considered a powerful spirit. It has been said that a branch of willow under your pillow at night will allow you to get in touch with your emotions and express them through vivid dreams which will grant you clarity and insight…Willow is doing great and truly living up to her name.