Brother and sister pups Buddy and Frankie start new dream jobs to help thousands of young people at mental health charity

By Mollie and Emma, both 17, at Jill Dando News

Meet Buddy and Frankie, the cute 16-week-old Golden-doodle puppies starting their dream new jobs at mental health charity In Charley’s Memory this week.

They already have five young people lined up for when they finish training.

Though it’s early days for the new members, the puppies wild and adventurous personality are shining through with cheeky behaviours such as barking and chewing. 

Though brother and sister, they are very different in character. Charity staff already see that Frankie is the boss – of everyone – with a lively personality. While Buddy is currently very very shy, he is a keen gardener and loves the hosepipe cooling  him down.

ICM is based in Highbridge Somerset and helps thousands of young people across Somerset and beyond.

The charity had only planned to buy one puppy, but when the owners heard of the charity she donated a second one.

CEO Dawn said: “It’s early days but with the right training they will be a wonderful asset to In Charley’s Memory.

“We are so thrilled to have them. This is going to take our service to a new level in so many ways. Dogs are miracle workers in bringing therapy to people.”

Dawn of In Charley’s Memory with one of their counsellors and Jeffrey the charity mascot

Jeffrey the King Charles Spaniel mascot of ICM started off the trend with the charity, and now they have two working dogs to be on the ground every day.

The world of counselling has seen an increased popularity in the usage of therapy dogs, which is proven to have hugely positive effects.

In Charley’s Memory has seen demand for their services go up by 1000% since it was set up in 2018, following the death of Charley aged 18. Now they are motivated to ensure there are ‘No more Charleys’.

They are helping young people across Somerset and even beyond as the nation’s crisis in mental health gets worse and worse. They will never turn any children away – no matter where they come from.

Dogs will be the latest tool to help people with their mental health problems.

It has been proven that usage of therapy animals, particularly therapy dogs, allow for a better understanding to be made by the individual as the provided comfort emphasises the vital aspect of trust and self-respect.

Though the usage of therapy animals has increased in popularity over recent years due to awareness being raised towards the benefit of counselling, the introduction of therapy animals was an accidental interaction within the 1960’s under the service of Dr Boris M. Levinson.

Levinson was a specialised child psychologist, of which he was working with a young patient who was typically non-verbal and withdrawn within session. However, the unintentional interaction between the client and Levison’s dog, Jingles, led to the withdrawn client interacting and talking to the dog.

The unintentional interaction led to Levinson utilising dogs within sessions. In 1964, Levinson adopted the term “Pet Therapy.”

Further research was taken post Levinson’s death upon his realisation of the possible benefits of using therapy animals.