Tippecanoe County K-9 Vasco is a member of a local law enforcement task force — a job that occasionally has him searching through buildings where he has to walk through shattered glass and other sharp objects. Students at Woodland Elementary School wanted to protect his paws while he is sniffing out suspects or illegal drugs, so the third-grade class purchased dog boots for Vasco with money from an economics project fundraiser.
Teacher Jill Shambach says "community" is an important word in third grade: "We learn about our community and how people, and sometimes animals, work together to help others."
Community Corrections officer Jim Knogge brought Vasco to school in November to receive their gifts. Students could hardly wait to see the dog try on his new booties.
The class roared with laughter as Vasco marched around the room. "He is walking weird, lifting his legs way up high," says third-grader Adrian Nydegger.
"I think they are going to take a bit to get used to," says Knogge as he watched Vasco retrieve a ball from across the room, high-stepping all the way.
"Watching Vasco walk in his boots brought laughter from everyone, but the joy the students felt knowing Vasco is protected while he works is even greater," says Shambach.