Meet Flint – A Furry Companion Offering Comfort and Purpose to Molly Ockett 2nd Graders

Flint laying with head on student lap

Flint is a trained, skilled 4-year-old Labrador retriever, Facility Dog from a local nonprofit organization called Assistance Canine Training Services (ACTS). Nationally certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Flint works at Molly Ockett School 5 days a week with 2nd-grade classroom teacher, Kelley Brown who is also his handler.

“A few years ago we had service dogs in training at Molly Ockett and we saw the magic and benefits of having a dog in the classroom,” said Brown. “Now we have our own full-time Facility Dog working at Molly Ockett School, building connections with students year after year.”

Flint spent 2 years training to be of service to people and has been on staff at Molly Ockett for the past 2 school years in Brown’s 2nd-grade classroom. Flint is trained to listen to readers, support writers, roll dice for math games, and offer fist bumps, Brown explains. He will rest a chin on a lap, pick up items, be a companion, and offer comfort and purpose in the classroom. He is able to provide a calm, supportive, comforting presence to all students and staff that he is able to work with and at this point, most of the students at Molly Ockett have seen and or met him.

Brown explains that Facility dogs are placed with professionals who work in fields that benefit from animal-assisted intervention (AAI). Within the field of education, animal-assisted education (AAE) is becoming more and more recognized by teachers, counselors, and others in the field of education as a successful way to work with and connect with students in their daily lessons and with social and emotional learning.

“Those of us fortunate enough to work with Facility dogs are better at our jobs because of these dogs, said Brown. “I have a greater capacity to help others because of him. He opens doors and changes people’s experiences for the better in a way that I as a human just can’t do.”

Brown adds, “It has been a privilege having Facility Dog Flint in the school community. I am grateful for and amazed by the connections he has built.”

Information for this story was provided by Molly Ockett School Grade 2 teacher Kelley Brown. To submit a good news story or an idea for the Maine DOE Newsroom, please email Rachel Paling at