Best of SNO High School Edition

Dog Days

Jay Dolan

Jay Dolan

Sothers sits on the far left while holding Ginger as Lizzy looks off into the distance

Jay Dolan, De Smet Jesuit High School

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In spite of being at an all boys school, Ginger and Lizzy attend class like it’s their own. And at the end of the day, they are finally let outside and are able to relieve themselves at the bewilderment of passerbyers.

In Tom Sothers honors American history classroom, dogs roam free. Ginger and Lizzy, or Sothers’ “girls,” are a common sighting to students. Ginger, the smaller of the two, is half Miniature

Pinscher half Chihuahua while Lizzy is a Border Collie mix.

“I rescued Ginger, some friends of mine found her in South County in the streets,” Sothers said. “I adopted Lizzy from my nephew when she was a puppy.”

Sothers tradition of bringing his dogs to school started back in the late 90’s with his old dog, Rudy. He figured it would be good to bring his dog because he was usually gone 14 hours a day teaching and coaching.

“I got permission to have him in the locker room and everyone loved having him around,” Sothers’ said. “Generally the reactions were very positive.”

Having the dogs around has mostly been smooth sailing but there have been some hiccups along the way.

“When Lizzy was younger, one time we were walking down the hallway, and right in the middle of the hallway on the first floor she took a poop,” Sothers said. “[Then principal] Dr. Densberger was walking down and pretended he did not see it, so I had to hurry and pick it up.”

Ginger and Lizzy are lovable dogs according to students and Sothers. Students like having them hang out around the classroom. As students walk in the room they are greeted with the excitement of Ginger and Lizzy.

“They brighten up my day,” junior Dan Walsh said. “It’s something different I experience in school. I like that Ginger lets me hold her. Lizzy is a bit more timid but still fun.”

Ginger and Lizzy may have not grown up together as puppies and have conflicting personalities but they are still the best of friends. The dogs are always on their best behavior aside from a few barks here and there during class.

“Ginger is very confident and kind of bossy, she does what she wants,” Sothers said, “Lizzy is very eager to please. She’s also very smart and loves to play fetch with a ball.”

For these special students, school days are the best type of days. The dogs even get sad when Sothers leaves the room for a few minutes, so leaving them at home by themselves is bad for them. Room 303 sure beats being at home by themselves any day of the week.

“When I tell them it’s time to go to school they run to the car and wait by the door,” Sothers said. “When they are home all day, they are home by themselves. At school, they get lots of attention and they like to be with me.”

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