Meet Daiquiri, Hagan Elementary’s companion animal

Published: Jan. 29, 2022 at 8:58 AM CST
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WILLISTON, N.D. - Every school has a mascot, but the principal at Hagan Elementary in Williston has introduced an “unofficial” mascot to the students. Now, a furry friend has become iconic and gets lots of attention from kids and staff.

They may be known as the Hagan Hawks, but this dog has captured the hearts of students and staff alike.

“She’s brought a lot of joy to my life,” said Darla Ratzak, principal.

Ratzak decided to bring her Bernedoodle named Daiquiri to school when she was just an eight-week-old puppy. Now, a year old, the school has become the dog’s playground.

“There’s been times that she goes to kindergarten, and she’s literally come back with blue paint on her paws and she’s left a few marks on the floor with paint. She’s really just part of the school,” said Ratzak.

With the dark cloud of the pandemic looming over the school last year, Daiquiri has become a ray of sunshine for Hagan.

“She really is therapy for all of us. She’s a joy to have in school and the kids love her,” said Bobbie Gathman, Physical Education teacher.

Daiquiri is a “companion animal” who loves to be with kids for good times and to help turn frowns upside down.

“When we walk in here to give her treats, she always runs to you,” said Ryker Bratlien, 4th grader.

“When I was in second grade, she would lay down on the floor and act all board. When I walk in (she’s like) ‘wow!’ said Lyla Roehrich, 3rd grader.

Hagen adores Daiquiri, with many pieces of student artwork depicting the dog hung up at the office. As an honorary member of Hagan Elementary, Ratzak said she expects Daiquiri to be vital part of the school for many years to come.

Ratzak says she would love to see more schools bring in companion animals like Daiquiri to help improve overall morale.

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