LASCASSAS, Tenn. (WTVF) — Of all the faculty at Lascassas Elementary School, Pancake the pup may be the most popular.
"I thought well one of my favorite foods is pancakes so I thought 'I'll just name him pancake' and it just took off," explained Chad Dodson, the school's resource officer. "I mean it just went through the school. The families were talking about it. The teachers were talking about it, even the older kids loved it."
Amid the uncertainty and limitations of the COVID school year, he enlisted the help of Pancake and his four-legged partners.
"I would just have them there - of course they was wearing masks too - and then I was questioned why they were wearing masks and I said 'well if you have to, they do too.'"
That's when Officer Dodson decided to immortalize the message of his furry friends by writing down their stories.
"It starts with Pancake being scared to come to school and he's talking to his mom, he's heard that they had to sit three feet apart, all this stuff," said Officer Dodson.
But someone needed to bring the book to life and who better than a student?
"It really surprised me that he wrote a book about stuffed animals and they came to life a little bit," said 11-year-old Gabi Baron. Now her drawings fill the pages of Pancake's story.
In addition to COVID, the book also offers life lessons with chapters dedicated to things like inclusion and teamwork.
Dodson said, "I hope it gets conversations started about just being nice, and respecting people, being kind, you know showing love- I think that's what we need today."
It’s a lesson this unlikely duo exemplifies in real life and on paper.
"If everybody would just help one person we can make a difference," said Officer Dodson. "I really do agree with that," agreed Baron.