A pup called Shola has proved herself top dog as well as every teacher’s pet after becoming a school’s official puppy.
Some schools have goldfish or guinea pigs, others are more adventurous and take on chickens, pigs or goats.
But Tavistock College has got the lead on its rivals by getting its own school dog.
And the four-month-old Irish setter has already won the adoration of pupils, even helping to keep them calm amid the stress of exams.
Shola’s name was chosen from more than 300 suggestions put forward by students and she was presented to the college in assembly when she was just nine-weeks-old.
Head teacher Sarah Jones said: “From the very first she has loved her work – she will trot jauntily down the corridor, tail wagging, looking out for children, and staff, to make a fuss of her.
She has an adoring public and she expects everyone to love her.”
Shola brings smiles to faces throughout the college – she attends staff briefings and during exam season she was on hand to meet and greet nervous students waiting to take their exams.
The students – and even some of the teachers – give the pup a stroke “for luck” as they enter the examination hall.
Shola is also said to have an ability to identify students suffering from stress and help calm them down.
Mrs Jones added: “Before one exam we had a student so stressed she felt she couldn’t take the exam, but meeting Shola brought a smile to her face and she was then able to go in to sit her exam.
“In a class with some students known to be worried and anxious, Shola will invariably choose to sit beside those students rather than the other, calmer, students.
“College life fascinates her – last week she discovered the college chickens and was riveted to the window watching them peck and scratch in the straw the other side of the glass.
“PE is always interesting and she always wants to go and play whatever game the students are playing – although she is banned from the pitches for health and safety reasons.”
In any day in college Shola will meet more than 100 students and staff.