Books, pencils and a packed lunch are all items commonly found in a child’s school backpack. You might even find some sports gear in there, too. But one teacher got the shock of her life when she looked inside the bag of a student. Instead of discovering some stationery or a half-eaten sandwich, she saw a pair of eyes staring back at her.
The discovery was made by Mrs. Bobbi Nabors, a kindergarten teacher at Jefferson Elementary School (JES) in Jefferson, Georgia. On February 28, 2018, Mrs. Nabors was carrying out a bag check. It was during this search that she found something very unexpected.
The children had gone through their normal morning routine in the classroom like every other day. Typically, this included watching and taking part in the school’s video announcements, as well as enjoying a period of quiet time. Everything seemed very ordinary until the bookbags were checked.
Apparently, Nabors thought there was something odd about one girl’s bag. And her suspicions were soon to be realized. When she unfastened it to investigate, she was met with an extraordinary sight: a pair of eyes was looking straight back at her – eyes that were attached to an extremely boisterous animal desperate to be out of the backpack.
The peepers belonged to a young dachshund pup called Jake. It turns out that his owner, a little girl in the kindergarten class, didn’t want to leave the dog at home when she went to school, so she took him along with her. And the stowaway in the bag hadn’t made a squeak all morning while the kids had been working.
Technically, the puppy wasn’t allowed in class, but the girl who brought Jake to school didn’t have her knuckles rapped over the incident. In fact, rather than tear her off a strip, the teacher instead passed the dog around the other kids. The popular pup didn’t hang around all day, though.
Despite only being at the school for a little while, Jake caused quite a stir. The furry find was made public after another kindergarten teacher, Brenan Evans Lingerfelt, wrote about the unusual incident on Facebook. She also shared a photo of the cute little dachshund.
In the post, Brenan described the story of how Jake was discovered. “Everyone, meet Jake,” she wrote. “He rode on the bus and stayed tucked quietly away until Mrs. Bobbi Nabors was checking bookbags and found him. When Mrs. Nabors opened the little girl’s bookbag this morning, she saw two eyes peering up at her.”
Brenan mentioned that rather than people being alarmed by the find, instead “everyone fell in love.” She then explained how the pup came to be at school that day. “Jake belongs to a sweet little girl at JES who just couldn’t bring herself to part with him this morning,” she wrote.
However, the little dognapper was shy about admitting that she wanted to keep her pet with her all day. Instead, when the girl was scrambling around for excuses, she told Nabors an unlikely story. Adorably, she said, “My mom must have put him in there.”
Happily, there were no hard feelings on the girl’s mother’s part when Mrs. Nabors called her to pick up the puppy. Instead, the mom was described as being “all smiles” as she came to retrieve the stowaway. Whether everyone at the school was equally cheerful is a moot point – particularly seeing that Jake “even pottied in the front office.”
Presumably after apologizing for her pup’s little mishap, Jake’s mom promised to bring the pooch back soon to visit the kids and teachers. What’s more, it seems the pooch’s unannounced visit has turned him into something of a celebrity at JES. Brenan hinted as much on Facebook, saying, “He’s now the poster boy for our upcoming spring book fair, ‘Paws for a Good Book!’”
The tale has gone viral since Brenan shared it on social media. Her Facebook post now has more than 24,000 likes and 5,100 comments. It’s also been shared some 20,000 times. So, it seems Jake is famous in more places than just Jefferson Elementary School. But what’s the story behind the breed?
Well, despite their small size and somewhat comical appearance, dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs. In fact, the breed was named for their skill in snaring badgers – the words dachs and hund mean badger and dog respectively in German.
The breed’s stocky little legs and long body make it well suited for digging into badger setts. And a comparatively large chest means the dog can put up a good fight if it comes across one of the stripey creatures! However, in spite of its fierceness as a hunter the dachshund is also family friendly.
Dachshunds are known for forming a close bond with a specific person. To this end, owners of the breed are advised to socialize puppies from an early age to avoid them becoming wary of people they don’t know. Who knows, maybe the little girl from Jefferson took Jake to school to do just that!
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time an animal has been stowed in a child’s backpack. In March 2018 a fourth-grade teacher in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, became confused after hearing meowing during class. After failing to find any cats outside, the teacher, Carey Geipel, thought the noise must have come from someone’s cell.
When Geipel began a proper search and noticed a bag moving, she had to investigate. Sharing the experience on Facebook she wrote, “I unzip the backpack and a cat’s head pops out!” She then explained the best part. “It’s not even their cat,” she said, “it’s the neighbor’s cat. O.M.G.”
It appears kids taking animals to school is becoming a bit of a trend, as Anna Hood, a teacher in Macon, Georgia, found out. She had a similar experience when a student took not one, but two kittens to school. And it seems the pupil had put some thought into her plan, too, as she also packed some supplies to keep the moggies fed.
Additional food wouldn’t have helped the guest in an Oklahoma backpack in 2016, however. In this case, a student took a dead squirrel he had found to school. His reason for doing so? Apparently, he just fancied some squirrel dumplings for dinner!