Uncertified Buttercup Banned


Layla Wright, Staff Writer

The Acalanes Union High School District implemented a new rule on May 18: dogs without a service certification are not allowed on campus. They are considered a liability.

This will affect English and Drama teacher Jamie Donohoe, who has been bringing his dog, Buttercup, to school occasionally for over 4 years.

While Donohoe admits that it is not a critical issue for him, he does believe some of his students will be disappointed. “I am sad that Buttercup doesn’t get to be here for some students who have benefited from her presence and would continue to benefit from her presence,” he said. “Honestly there have been students in class that, when she walks in, a particularity anxious and depressed student would perk up and be more awake. It’s pretty cool.”

Both Buttercup and Donohoe have developed a stronger relationship through her visits on campus. “Buttercup enjoys being with me at school and the students enjoy her too,” said Donohoe.

Senior Claire Tajima said Buttercup has had a significant impact on her high school experience. “My relationship with Buttercup is 100% strong. I’ve known that dog for the past 4 years, and she’s really a special dog to me. She just has such a calm energy. She’s a very loving dog,” said Tajima.

“One time actually I was having a really hard time with my friends and I was crying alone in the drama room and Buttercup was there to comfort me. She really made me feel a lot better,” Tajima admitted.

Junior Kellen Kvech has known Buttercup for 3 years. “Every day that I come into drama she’s just there and sweet, which really brightens up your day,” she said. “She always listens to Donohoe and she’s just always on point and perfect. She loves everyone and she plays fetch. She’s super fun to cuddle with and pet.”

Kvech says “Butters” helps her alleviate stress. “Sometimes I just lay on the ground and hug Butters and she just hugs me back. When I have anxiety attacks Butters comes up to me and gives me all the love I need which really helps to de-stress me because I have really bad anxiety attacks,” she said.

Senior Makenna Woolf agreed. “Butters is the reason for why I’m less stressed at school, because seeing her makes me feel so much calmer in a world of chaos, I can always look to Butter and I feel better… I have sought her out on campus when I am having a specifically bad day… Now I’m so sad because I might not be able to see her ever again, and I want to be able to see her one last time,” she said.

Donohoe is interested in exploring the possibility of having his pet earn the appropriate certification in order to return to campus. “I could possibly do some paperwork, but I would have to find out more about what the district is looking for. I’m not sure if I would do a lot of work. Like my students – I am lazy,” he said.