Saturday, May 21, 2022

Weir: District Attorney takes the bite out of crime

Bob Weir, District Attorney Paul Johnson and Brady the therapy dog, photo and video by Netsky Rodriguez

The use of canines to help mankind is known throughout the world. They have been used for guarding flocks, tracking, hunting, search and rescue, leading the blind, and in assisting the deaf and physically challenged. The bond between dog and man dates back to early history, but it wasn’t until recently that a correlation was acknowledged between this bond and the emotional health of humans. Studies have shown that a person holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.

In case you’ve never heard of “therapy dogs” I’d like to introduce you to Brady, a 2 year old Golden Doodle, who has received the Award of Distinction as a member of the therapy dog group of Golden Triangle Dog Club. The title is given to dogs that go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other places they are needed. From working with a child who is learning to read, to visiting a senior in assisted living and numerous other functions, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people. Golden Doodles are cross-breed dogs, which is obtained by breeding a Golden Retriever with a Poodle.

Unlike service dogs, which are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help people with disabilities, such as blindness, therapy dogs are trained to provide affection, comfort and love to people in various situations. The use of dogs for therapeutic reasons has been demonstrated by many people over the last few centuries, including Florence Nightingale, Sigmund Freud, and Elaine Smith. Ms. Smith, a therapist, founded Therapy Dogs International in 1976.

Brady works with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office where his sweet and friendly disposition offers comfort to victims of crime. Along with his duties as the Therapy Dog of the District Attorney’s Office, Brady also visits nursing homes and other placement facilities where he brings joy and comfort to those he meets. District Attorney Paul Johnson decided in 2017 that he was going to get a therapy dog to offer comfort to those victims that may be suffering emotionally as a result of their experience.

Upon meeting Brady, Johnson found the perfect fit for the District Attorney’s Office. Brady has been beneficial in offering comfort to child victims as well as adult victims of violent crime. The employees of the DA’s office also benefit from Brady’s presence. At the beginning of January, 2019, Brady was official sworn as the Therapy Dog of the Denton County District Attorney’s Office. In the interview, D.A. Johnson talks about the cost of training a therapy dog, the results that come from comforting victims and other topics relating to Brady. I must admit that it’s very easy to fall in love with this adorable animal.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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