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Meet Ollie: Therapy dog training to support Georgetown community

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Posted at 9:16 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 09:16:49-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Ollie is a three-year-old golden retriever training in Frankfort to become a therapy dog in Georgetown.

Georgetown police officer Ben Martin, who also serves as a school resource officer, says Ollie's gentle and loving personality will be a welcomed 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 provided all kinds of benefits that Ollie could help with in the school system," said Martin.

Sydney Buck Pennington from the Dog Wizard in Frankfort is helping to lead Ollie's training—teaching him to master that calming approach.

"He is truly a very intelligent dog. He's amazing and he's a natural when it comes to knowing or being in tune with human emotion," said Pennington.

Part of Ollie's two-week training has included introducing him to different environments that he'll encounter as a therapy dog.

"Bringing him to a lot of new places, meeting a lot of new people, smelling new smells, hearing new noises. A lot of exposure and a lot of desensitization."

Wednesday was the first time Martin had seen Ollie since dropping the dog off last week. In that short week, Martin says Ollie already has a more calm demeanor.

Trainers point out that not any dog can serve the role that Ollie's striving towards.

"You have to make sure this is what the dog wants. Make sure that this is what they're good at. They're 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 maybe one of the most popular pups in Georgetown.