FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – Ollie is a three-year-old golden retriever who is training in Frankfort to become a therapy dog in Georgetown.
Georgetown Police Officer Ben Martin, who is also a School Resource Officer, says Ollie’s gentle and loving personality will be a welcome addition to addressing mental health in schools.
Martin and his family welcomed Ollie three years ago, but soon the golden retriever will share his love with the community.
“All of them had nothing but praise and offered all sorts of benefits that Ollie could contribute to the school system,” Martin said.
Sydney Buck Pennington of The Dog Wizard in Frankfort helps lead Ollie’s training, teaching him how to master this calming approach.
“He really is a very intelligent dog. He’s amazing and he’s natural when it comes to knowing or being in tune with human emotions,” Pennington said.
Part of Ollie’s two-week training was to introduce him to different environments he will encounter as a therapy dog.
“Bringing it to lots of new places, meeting new people, smelling new smells, hearing new noises. Lots of exposure and lots of desensitization.”
Wednesday was the first time Martin had seen Ollie since dropping the dog off last week. During this short week, Martin says that Ollie already has a calmer demeanor.
Trainers emphasize that no dog can play the role Ollie strives for.
“You have to make sure that’s what the dog wants. Make sure that’s what he knows how to do. He’s in tune with human emotion.”
Martin also hopes Ollie will help strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community.
He already has plans to make Ollie one of Georgetown’s most popular puppies.