School dog Ripley has brought back memories of schooldays for one York man, finds MAXINE GORDON

WHO remembers Ripley? He is the three-year-old springer spaniel/Labrador cross who attends Archbishop Holgate's School every day to reach out to children who otherwise would not engage in school.

We reported last month how Ripley is now a certified school dog – the country's first attending school dog.

Or is he?

Press reader John Goodfellow got in touch to tell us about Thaba – a pure-bred Rhodesian Ridgeback. Thaba, says John, "attended every single one of my mother's classes at Poppleton Primary School during the early Seventies".

John sent us a lovely photograph of Thaba as well as a photo of him with his mum, Jenny, from the 1970s.

He said the dog was a welcome addition to the classroom. "Thaba sat by her desk while Mum was teaching. Ridgebacks are extremely good dogs because they don't bark. I can't think of a time Mum ever came home and complained about her class, the dog helped keep order and was a calming influence."

Mrs Goodfellow worked as a teacher for 20 years and also did supply work at various schools in York. She is now retired and lives in the Scottish Borders, says John.

We thought this was a good opportunity to share some other school photos over the years. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any featuring animals alongside pupils.

Perhaps in the good old days they believed the mantra: never work with children and animals.

Buy why not? Thaba and Ripley have certainly proved them wrong.