#070: Bringing comfort to child victims with Suzanne and Murphy

by | February 13, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Suzanne + Murphy

Suzanne and her Therapy Dog Murphy comfort child victims in the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit.

In this 70th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Suzanne Clouchete and her Goldendoodle, Murphy, about their work with child victims in the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit in Florida. As a certified team through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, they’re also part of the Zen Dogs Therapy Network.

Suzanne shares how she became interested in therapy dog work after learning about the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office program, Paws & Stripes College. She realized that her recently adopted Goldendoodle, Murphy, would be perfect for the job due to his friendly nature and loving temperament.

Throughout our conversation, we discuss their experiences working together to bring comfort to child victims. Suzanne tells us heartwarming stories about the children they’ve helped and how Murphy has made a difference in their lives. We also touch on the challenges they face, such as balancing their work with the department and finding time to volunteer at Zen Dog Therapy events.

In addition, we explore the importance of self-care for both Suzanne and Murphy. They enjoy spending quality time together at dog parks, playing with their other dogs, and relaxing at home. Suzanne also emphasizes the significance of socialization for therapy dogs and encourages anyone considering becoming a therapy dog team to take the leap.

After listening to this episode, you’ll gain valuable insights into the world of therapy dog work and the incredible impact that these four-legged companions can have on the lives of those in need.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • How Suzanne decided to partner with a Therapy Dog.
  • What a week on the job looks like for Suzanne and Murphy.
  • How Murphy has helped to comfort children who they meet.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

Note that the timecodes match the video, not the podcast.

  • [01:11] Suzanne talks about working as a detective at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, where Murphy helps relax victims before interviews.
  • [02:00] Suzanne shares how she learned about the Paws & Stripes College therapy dog program at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
  • [03:27] Suzanne and Murphy complete a 40-hour investigative therapy dog course and get certified through Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
  • [06:32] Murphy enjoys dressing up as the Grinch’s dog Max in local Christmas parades.
  • [07:27] Suzanne and Murphy occasionally participate in Zen Dog Therapy events, where Murphy sings along.
  • [10:07] Suzanne tells a heartwarming story about the first child she and Murphy worked with.
  • [13:03] Murphy is Suzanne’s personal dog and has a contract with the department to be covered under their insurance.
  • [14:22] Murphy is popular in the department and has a reputation for sneaking into lunchboxes.
  • [16:19] Suzanne reflects on the emotional challenges of their work, but finds relief in helping children relax with Murphy.
  • [19:42] Suzanne emphasizes the importance of socialization for therapy dogs and encourages anyone considering becoming a therapy dog team to go for it.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!

Mentioned in this episode:

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Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review. Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.

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