E-news Issue 6
Monday, 09 August 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Good Dog Animal Assisted Intervention superstars Roxy and Quinton make a comforting presence with their trainer Hannah Taino-Spick.
Good Dog Animal Assisted Intervention superstars Roxy and Quinton make a comforting presence with their trainer Hannah Taino-Spick.

Therapy dogs lend a helping ear to children in Darwin

Two therapy dogs trained by a Charles Darwin University (CDU) Lecturer are quickly becoming Darwin celebrities, going from schools to libraries and courtrooms to support children and adults in need.

Roxy and Quinton are the star employees at the Good Dog Animal Assistance Intervention started by Hannah Taino-Spick, Social Work Lecturer and PhD student at CDU.

They regularly visit primary schools and libraries to support a literacy program, ‘Tales to Tails’, where children read to them to boost self-confidence.

“Roxy and Quinton support children in a non-judgemental way, so children are comfortable with their presence,” Ms Taino-Spick said.

The pair lends a helping ear to children at the Cities of Darwin and Palmerston libraries and Leanyer School. Children who have undergone the program have shown an improved level of literacy and confidence.

Recently, Roxy and Quinton have also made appearances in court where they accompanied children going through their sentencing.

“Their presence lowers children’s anxiety and helps normalise their day. The court system can be quite foreign and rigid, and they just bring a sense a normality to the children involved,” Ms Taino-Spick said.

As a Lecturer in Social Work, Ms Taino-Spick has brought the therapy dogs to her lectures at CDU to help students understand the variety of social work services available.

“They bring comfort, connection and curiosity with them. I also want to show my students that social work is a broad practice that can happen in every shape and form,” she said.

The pooches also visited CDU students during exam week to help take the stress off.