Wednesday, June 27, 2007


he just LOOKS cool, doesn't he? therapy animals are a wonderful thing! animals are a wonderful thing!

At Derby Neck Library, Cindy Trifone, right, of Soul Friends shows 2-year-old Lyndsy Pontillo, of Trumbull, how to properly approach her therapy dog Charlie during a program called "How a Dog's Brain Works" about positive reinforcement to change behavior in both canines and humans. Looking on, from right, were Rosie McGrath, 3, of Shelton, Penny Pontillo, of Trumbull, James McGrath, 2, of Shelton, and Julia Dota, 3, of Derby. (Tracy Deer/Connecticut Post)


DERBY — For many children, the earliest lessons in caring and responsibility are learned through caring for the family dog. Cindy Trifone, a mental health counselor for children and teenagers, has taken those lessons a step further. Trifone and her business partner, Kate Nicoll, a trained clinical therapist, are using therapy dogs in their practice, Soul Friends, to help young people with autism, grief, trauma from abuse, and a range of other emotional and developmental problems. The human-animal bond is a gift that the dog brings to the therapy," said Trifone, who was visiting the Derby Neck Library on Tuesday with Charlie, a terrier......

.......A rescue from the Woodbridge Animal Shelter, Charlie has a story that many patients identify with, Trifone added. He was emaciated when she took him home 2 1/2 years ago, and needed to be housebroken......

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