Meet Krinkle, a professional therapy dog who works at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center. He and his handler, Samantha McBride, PsyD, senior instructor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, were certified as a therapy dog team in 2015 through Freedom Service Dogs (FSD).
FSD is a nonprofit organization that partners people with custom-trained assistance dogs. If appropriate, dogs that are not quite suited for service are trained as therapy dogs. Krinkle, who was found in a shelter in Wyoming, likes chasing squirrels way too much to be a service dog, hence his therapy dog duties.
To become a therapy dog Krinkle had to take a test, which included following commands and handling challenging situations without becoming aggressive (getting his tail pulled, being rudely petted, etc.). Krinkle passed with flying colors.
When Krinkle is wearing his vest, it means he is working and is available for pets and snuggles (if he is not already busy, of course). This is the opposite of service dogs, whose vests instruct passersby not to touch the working canine. Krinkle’s primary role is working with patients – both adults and children. Meanwhile, he can also offer pup support to his human colleagues when needed. (If you happen to see Krinkle in the hallways, feel free to say hello!)
Krinkle loves working. He especially enjoys working with children and teens, visiting people in the waiting room and helping with group therapy. He also revels in getting belly rubs and doing tricks for treats. Oh, and windows. He loves looking out windows.
When off the clock, Krinkle adores hiking trails, chasing squirrels, visiting friends and chewing toys. He loves to be as cozy as possible at all times and will turn anything into a pillow. Krinkle’s one dislike? Getting wet.