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Meet the new student: Bettendorf elementary introduces new therapy dog

Fletcher started his first day as a reading and listening buddy for students at Mark Twain Elementary School.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — A new student arrived for his first day at Mark Twain Elementary in Bettendorf: Fletcher the therapy dog.

The 1-year-old yellow Labrador was introduced to his classmates on Tuesday to begin his new duties as a reading and listening buddy for students in need.

Fletcher's main handler is the school's librarian, but other teachers at Mark Twain will also work closely with him.

"His big eyes are full of love," said special education paraeducator Ron Johnson. "He is looking up, checking in — always alert. He knows he is at work and he wants to help everybody."

Fletcher was part of a litter that was named entirely after Mel Gibson. His name comes from Gibson's character in the 1997 film, "Conspiracy Theory."

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