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NHS Copper Halo at Dawn THDD CGCA, owned by teacher Mako Jacobs of Omaha, NE, has earned the AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished title for making more than 400 visits to help others. He really shines as the therapy dog for Mako’s special education classroom.

NHS Copper Halo at Dawn THDD CGCA is an Australian Shepherd/Collie mix who was adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society at the age 6 months.

“It was my hope that he could fill the paw prints of my previous therapy dog,” Mako said.

Halo visits retirement homes, assisted living facilities and memory loss units.

“He knows exactly where to sit so that each person can give him optimal petting,” Mako said. “Halo likes visiting the library where kids read books to him to increase their fluency and confidence.”

But where Halo really shines is in Mako’s special education classroom where the students light up every time they see him.

“Students’ speech becomes louder and clearer when giving Halo commands. He’s learned some sign language for my students who are nonverbal. They are also responsible for his care. They like giving him water, taking him out to recess with them, and reading books to him.”

Students from other classrooms earn “Halo time” when they meet an academic or behavioral goal.
“Halo has evolved into a wonderful therapy dog who touches the lives of many. The paw prints were large ones to fill, but he succeeded in filling them and my heart.”

Halo is a member of the AKC Canine Partners program for all dogs, including rescues and mixed-breeds.