Therapy dog in training at probate court - WNEM TV 5

Therapy dog in training at probate court

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan court is debuting its newest employee and he isn't even 1-year-old.

Instead of sniffing out crime, the new four legged trainee will be helping people who have suffered traumatic events.

"It's been really fun. We have a lot of smiles out in that lobby," Judge Dorene Allen said.

Clyde is not your average guy for the job. He has four legs and a wet nose. He is an 8-month-old yellow lab.

"He's very good at sleeping. It's kinda like a baby," Allen said.

When he's not taking a power nap, he is busy being the newest employee of the Midland County Probate Court.

He may not wear a robe or slam a gavel down like his owner Allen, but she said his job is also very important.

"He is a therapy dog in training," Allen said.

She said the probate court usually deals with cases involving child abuse and those with disabilities. Once Clyde is fully training he will be a big help.

"These are all people walking into a courtroom in really a traumatic, life changing event. And they're all stressed. So Clyde is there so they can pet him and to be able to relax people," Allen said.

Katie Mishler, Clyde's trainer and a deputy probate register, said he brightens her day every day.

"He makes me laugh 100 times a day. He makes everybody laugh. He wanders around the front office from desk to desk, always napping in the worst possible places - right in the middle where people would walk," Mishler said.

Allen said it has been her dream to have a dog in court who is accepting of everyone who comes in.

"And he really is. It's unequivocal and his little tail wags and it's quite extraordinary," Allen said.

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