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Ari the therapy dog helps Louisville elementary students


Louisville Slaughter Elementary School

Olivia Krauth, Courier Journal, The Associated Press

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LOUISVILLE, KY.

It is not even noon, and Ari is struggling to keep his eyes open.


It is the first day back to school after a long holiday weekend, and the weather outside Slaughter Elementary is cold, gray and dreary.


Inside, fifth-graders are scattered throughout Amber Pendleton's classroom. A handful surround Pendleton at a kidney-shaped table against the back wall. Other quietly type on black Chromebooks, occasionally whispering to a friend nearby.


It's math class. Today's lesson: Fractions.


Ari sits alone on a colorful rug under the chalkboard near the front of the room, his large light brown eyes downcast. His chubby, wrinkly face gives him an air of perpetual exhaustion.

After a few minutes of no one acknowledging him, he puts his head down and falls asleep. No one notices. No one cares.