Animal Science students at Eastern Suffolk BOCES Brookhaven Technical Center (BTC) in Bellport recently welcomed some furry canine friends for a visit: three Newfoundlands and one Schipperke.
For the third consecutive year, Animal Science teachers Lisa Mongiello and Lori Beckmann invited Joan and Tom Thuring, Newfoundland breeders and trainers, to discuss their experiences in raising and training the breed.
"The Thurings are very reputable and ethical dog breeders," said Lisa Mongiello. "It's great for the students to have an opportunity to experience in person what they are learning about in class."
Newfoundlands are a large breed originally bred as working dogs for fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. They are utilized in water rescues because of their swimming ability, strength, size, thick coat, and webbed feet. The Thurings also showcased their Schipperke, a smaller variety originally bred in Belgium to work on barges.
"I look forward to this visit each year," said Mrs. Thuring. "The students never had the opportunity to see the Newfoundlands before. We discuss the breed and give them a chance to interact with the dogs," she added.
"Providing guest speakers to our program helps increase knowledge and raises community awareness," said Ms. Beckmann. "This is the third year that the Thurings have participated in our program and the students seem to enjoy their presentation more and more."