School’s back and teaching dog is walking on air

Teaching Dog. Bertie Button, the resident teaching dog at Manor Fields Primary School. Burgess Hill. Pictured with Isabelle Coate (7).  Burgess Hill. Picture : Liz Pearce. 220714. SUS-140722-155142008
Teaching Dog. Bertie Button, the resident teaching dog at Manor Fields Primary School. Burgess Hill. Pictured with Isabelle Coate (7). Burgess Hill. Picture : Liz Pearce. 220714. SUS-140722-155142008

A little dog who spent the summer pining for his pals is now walking on air - because he has finally been reunited with his chums.

Bertie Button is a ‘school dog’ and regularly spends his days at Manor Field County Primary School in Burgess Hill.

But in the heart of the long summer school holidays the puzzled pooch was left wondering where all his playmates had gone.

And he was delighted last week when the school finally re-opened after the holidays - and he met up once more with his pupil pals.

Two-year-old Bertie, a Shih Tzu-poodle cross, also got to meet a whole bunch of new youngsters starting school for the first time.

Head teacher Kit Messenger said: “He has been busy meeting our new reception classes and showing them his tricks - explaining that he has had to work really hard and practise every day in order to learn them, just like they will need to do at school.”

Bertie’s ‘tricks’ include a ‘rollover’, high-five, dance twirl, playing dead on the command of ‘bang’, and pressing a buzzer with his paw.

But Bertie’s main ‘trick’ is sitting still while listening to the children read - “he’s quite good at looking interested,” said Ms Messenger.

Last week Bertie proved a special source of support when he went to Heath Veterinary Clinic in Burgess Hill for his annual injections.

Some pupils went with him - among them a girl who has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Ms Messenger said: “She has found the injections really challenging and went with him as the ‘injection expert.’

“That really seemed to help her.”