Two-Year-Old Shih Tzu Greets Students Everyday

Piedmont Elementary is Home to The Panthers, and Murry

At Piedmont Elementary, kindness is contagious.

“I learned about Jim and Murry upon my arrival last year in August,” said Principal Beth Shermoen.

It’s a place where not only students get along, but cats [panthers] and dogs, come together.

“I think it’s really exciting because it’s a partnership between school and community,” said Shermoen.

Little Murry, is a spoiled shih tzu, going on two.

“Both my daughter and son–in–law work, and so he’d be home all alone all day,” said Jim Segel, Murry’s Grandpa.

Grandpa Jim spreads joy every day, picking Murry up each morning around 6:40a.m., preparing for their morning mosey.

“I do what he wants to do! One day we were out for a walk, and he happened to come this way and he saw the kids, and he liked the kids,” said Segel.

“They have been gracious enough to come out and great out students every single morning; rain, snow, sunshine, these two are here out on our sidewalk, welcoming the kids off the bus,” said Shermoen.

This purebred pup waits patiently for the kiddos, and staff, to arrive.

“There’s Murry and they run to pet him and he gets on them,” said Segel.

It’s a morning, turned memory for many of these students and staff.

“One or two kids bring him treats,” said Segel.

“Having members of the community come and welcome our kids each morning is a pretty powerful experience for our students,” said Shermoen.

“I’m supposed to be walking anyway because the doctor says I should walk.”

For Grandpa Jim, it’s doctors’ orders. For Murry, it’s student satisfaction.

“He’s the boss actually, he leads the way,” said Segel.

“To have Jim here each morning, welcoming our students, asking our students how they are doing, what they did on their weekends, I think is just affirmation of the power between home and school, and community, and the great things that can happen when we work together,” said Shermoen.

Seconds of smiles, helping fulfill a day of better behavior.

“See the kids being happy and you know, it’s just nice,” said Segel.

“He’s kind of our school morning mascot. Even though we’re the Panthers, we have to remember our little shih tzu, Murry,” said Shermoen.

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