Rescue Dog at School: Springer Lived the ‘Golden’ Rule

dog rescue school

School principal Kim DesLauriers wanted a golden retriever puppy, but the breeder he contacted didn’t have any. Instead, the breeder had a 6-year-old severely hearing-impaired rescue dog golden named Springer, or Spring for short.

DesLauriers, who lived alone then, decided to adopt her anyway, back in 1985.  “Dogs bring love and joy to others regardless of the dog’s age and pets should not be discarded because they are old.”  

Rescue Dog School Days

dog rescue school

Spring was pretty easygoing like most goldens. And Spring felt lucky because she was allowed to go to school. Kim was principal at Immaculate Conception School for 26 years at the time of this story. And Spring was allowed to sleep under his desk.

What a life for a rescue dog!

For the school kids, being sent to the principal’s office at ICS couldn’t have been the same it was in other schools.  

Spring treated students with her own TLC. Many ICS alumni expressed their fondness and great admiration for “Mr. D” and his golden companion.


dog rescue school

Spring would relax on the bleachers with DesLauriers as he tallied points on the scoreboard during basketball games. In a crowd, his signal for calling her was a wave of his hand. He didn’t have to signal often, though, as “she just followed (him) everywhere.”

DesLauriers “couldn’t understand why she was ever given up.”  Sometimes circumstances are just beyond anyone’s control.

Daily Pup Runs with Springer the Rescue Dog

DesLauriers wanted a dog he could run with, but Spring wasn’t speedy. She wanted to be by him, though and did her best to keep up.

She was also the most timid dog DesLauriers had ever known. Except for one day when she stood her ground.

Rescue Dog Brings Her A-Game

The two sometimes passed a house with a very noisy, aggressive dog when they went running together. DesLauriers made a mental note to avoid that home but forgot one day.

That day, the dog was loose.

The dog ran out and made an intimidating display going after Spring. Spring mustered up her confidence, though. She growled at the dog and didn’t give an inch.

DesLauriers was surprised she had it in her and had thought to himself, “even the meek shall inherit the Earth.”  Spring never had to defend herself again.

The Queen is Crowned

dog rescue school

Older dogs, especially rescue dogs, usually appreciate owners who take them in and Spring was no exception. She basked in the love and attention.

During the school’s celebration of Spring week, which had been organized by the Student Council every May prior to Spring’s initiation to school, Spring would fittingly be named the “Spring Queen.” She wore a pageant crown and cape and was happy to be a part of the parade float.

Spring’s Last Days

In 1989, Spring got gingival cancer (a type of oral cancer) and had to be laid to rest. After her, DesLauriers and his family have had two more goldens. Beau passed after 14 ½ wonderful years, and Wrigley who came later kept up with DesLauriers when he ran.

Spring lives on in spirit at Immaculate Conception. She still finds respite as she places her soft head on her paws and slumbers at his feet.

Considering rescuing a dog or dog adoption? Read my brief article about why older dogs need help, too.

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This story was published in the weekly Not Forgotten column in The Ark section of The Herald News of Joliet, IL. (4/18/06)

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