A tribute to Mojo: PV’s first therapy dog announces his retirement


Jodi Mitchell

Students pose for a photo with PV’s first ever therapy dog, Mojo. Concluding the 2021-2022 school year, Mojo has announced his retirement after 11 years in the district.

Allisa Pandit, Innovation Manager

As PV’s first therapy dog, Mojo began his career as a 3 ½-year-old puppy at Riverdale Heights Elementary School. After working at the elementary school for five years, Mojo and his owner, special needs aide Jodi Mitchell, transferred to PVHS. Now, Mojo has held his title at PV for a total of 11 years. Unfortunately, Mojo’s work at PV has come to an end as Mitchell announced Mojo’s retirement at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

As Mojo spends his last few days within the walls of PV, students and staff commemorate his efforts towards creating a positive environment for the school. “There were countless times where I was able to go to Mojo when I needed a break from class. He was always able to bring a smile to my face,” said sophomore Muhan Basnet. While Mojo spent his time helping out individuals at PV, his own characteristics and personality traits were hardly discussed. 

Following Mojo’s daily routine, he starts off by entering the building through the main entrance. There, he follows the doors to the main office where he is met with familiar faces and occasionally finds treats waiting for him. From there, he goes from Deputy Fah’s office to Gina Weaver’s room where he spends the majority of his day. During passing periods, however, Mojo visits students and staff around the building.

Mitchell shared her dearest memories with Mojo at PV. “Some of my favorites were when kids would read to him and they would show him the pictures; they would write stories about ‘Mojo the Wonder Dog’ and be so proud of their work, and when he would lay across a student’s legs in the nurse’s office to help stop the twitching from a medical issue,” she said. Outside of school, she loved “seeing him ride the waves in the ocean and knowing he is living his best life.”

Not only does Mojo love meeting people at school, but he also loves meeting new people on vacation. He frequently visits Rehoboth Beach in Delaware where he gets to swim in his favorite ocean: the Atlantic Ocean. According to Mitchell, Mojo also enjoyed hiking through mountains in Arizona.

At home, Mojo is always up for a walk or willing to go for a swim. However, he is always the most excited for people to pet him on his way to various places. In addition to his adventures, Mojo also enjoys cheese and bacon as a snack and will never turn down a treat. 

Senior Aayusha Adhikari went to elementary school with Mojo and later attended PVHS with him as well. “I’ve never had a dog of my own, but seeing Mojo over the years has felt like a symbol of us PV students growing up,” she shared. Graduating with the class of 2022, Mojo has left this impact on many seniors.

“He’s my dog, so I think he’s the best dog ever, but I’m so glad I could share him with the students and staff of PV for all of these years,” Mitchell said. As retirement rolls around, Mojo looks forward to lying under his favorite tree in Mitchell’s yard and watching as people pass by.