Therapy Dog Helps Autistic Children - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Therapy Dog Helps Autistic Children

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After months of planning and training, a children's home in Minot now has a furry friend to play with and care for.

Four paws and a bushy tail may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, but to a group of kids at the RSI Children’s Home, it's changing their lives.

"His name is Hutch, and he's a standard poodle. We love him very much, and he's fun to have around," says Samantha Robbins who lives in children’s home.

For about a week, Hutch, a certified therapy dog, has been adjusting to life at his new home.

"We looked forward to his arrival for a full year after we had made plans to get a therapy dog to be in the home with us, with the people who live here, so when it got closer to the time for him to come, we got more excited and more excited," says Maggie Hulberg a coordinator for the RSI Children's Home.

Before coming to the Magic City, Hutch underwent training at Therapy Dog United in Pennsylvania to prepare him to work with children with autism.

"Hutch is trained to provide comfort, he's trained to provide companionship, and he's trained to provide calming. That's exactly what he does," says Hulberg.

Even though it’s only been a few days, Hutch feels right at home.

"We've had to do some adjusting, and he's done some adjusting,” says Hulberg. “But, he's been good for us in this very short time. The kids love him and actually want to fight over who spends time with him."

Hutch is the first therapy dog of its kind west of Jamestown.

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