Companion dogs make life rosy

LIFE is about to get a little more Rosie for one returned soldier thanks to the help of a Glen Innes army veteran with a new project under way.

SOLDIERING ON: Army veteran Murray Young with companion-dog-in-training Rosie. Photo: The Glen Innes Examiner

SOLDIERING ON: Army veteran Murray Young with companion-dog-in-training Rosie. Photo: The Glen Innes Examiner

Fourteen-year army veteran Murray Young is no stranger to the work of the Glen Innes RSPCA.

The local group would send treat packages to Afghanistan for dogs working during the war – and one found the way into the hands of Mr Young, a dog handler, during a tour of duty in 2011.

These days Mr Young is now settled in Glen Innes and is working with the local RSPCA on a project to match returned soldiers with trained rescue dogs as companion animals.

That’s where Rosie, his first muse, comes in.

According to Mr Young, Rosie is a special dog destined for special things and was donated by a local couple from the region after some online searching.

Rosie is expected to remain in training for six to 12 months before she finds her new owner.

“The most difficult part of this process will be identifying a local person that Rosie can be partnered compatibly with,” Mr Young said.

“Rosie’s training is coming along really well. She’s still young, but she is responding well to the basic training so far.”

He said the aim for the project was for dogs to “aid in the rehabilitation” of returned soldiers with physical or psychological injuries by providing companionship.

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