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Service Dog of the Day: Wink

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Last Updated: April 18, 2015

I think this story is a perfect example of that, when it comes to dogs; if you can dream it, they can do it.

therapydog wink2 Service Dog of the Day: Wink

Photo courtesy of Tonya Murray.

Wink is a 2-year-old black lab / golden retriever mix who is trained classically as a service animal with extra training to help them in criminal investigations, especially with children. She is currently based in the Uintah and Daggett County Children’s Justice Center, where administrators to help their children feel comfortable when. To difficult, crime-related topics

Of 20 children Justice Center (CJC) Locations in Utah the Uintah and Daggett County plant are the only use of this special service dogs. Dogs like Wink make the children feel as safe as possible and help them open up and talk about difficult issues such as abuse. The dogs make the whole investigation process less scary and smoother for children. Because dogs are intuitive creatures as they often have to search for the child most distressed, and generous extra attention to them.

In the interview process (often videotaped) children who have suffered abuse are more comfortable telling their story on the dog. Hold the leash gives them a sense of control and physical contact, and stroking and touching reduces anxiety.

Tonya Murray, director of the Uintah and Daggett County Children’s Justice Center believes that a non-judgmental presence in the room is much easier to address it difficult topics.

“Some of fear just somehow seems to melt,” added Murray. Wink has had a major impact on these children, than to let the CJC (after a week), they tend to spend time with Wink, rather than topics that remind discussed with investigators.

therapydog wink Service Dog of the Day: Wink

Photo courtesy of Tonya Murray

The original goal of this Guide dogs was to help children tell their stories through the interview process. Now the program has grown to include their presence in the courtroom. Wink is the first dog to appear before a judge, and after having a child with a lot of what is likely to be an intimidating situation, the judge would like to welcome them back.

“The dog has met all my expectations,” he said. “I expected the dog to have a calming effect. And I think I’ll often see Wink.”

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Service Dog of the Day: Wink

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