Have you met… Magic?

Magic is our therapy dog at STREAT, who helps our trainees and staff to feel a little more relaxed. In this video, her handler, and our co-founder and chief impact officer, Dr Kate Barrelle, tells us about their work in the youth programs team. Watch the video, or read the transcript below.

Hi everybody, welcome. My name is Kate Barrelle, and along with Bec Scott, I’m the co-founder of STREAT. I’m also the Chief Impact Officer and I oversee all of our youth programs. I just want to introduce you to one other critical member of the team. This is Magic.

Magic’s our four year old Kelpie-Lab cross. She comes to work almost every single day with us. I’m her handler, which is one of the best parts of my job. She gets to go into the classroom and into the sessions with the young people and it’s quite remarkable for the work that she does with them.

It’s amazing the difference it makes having a well-trained therapy dog, woah, who can’t sit still! Magic! [Laughter]. It’s amazing the difference it makes to have a well-trained therapy dog in the classroom. Trainees, it’s not just the trainees, the staff, everybody. Humans connect when there’s something or someone that they can trust completely. Everyone’s blood pressure goes down. Calmness increases, trust increases, people are able to use their words. And breathe, and connect with each other.

Trainees have lots of beautiful things to say about Magic. Of all the ratings the trainees give us when we ask them for their report card on the program, Magic scores the highest, which is a lovely thing, except that it’s 106%, which apart from telling us that they love having Magic in the program, also, lets us know that we don’t teach them very good math.