Northern Suburbs News

Service dog Rosie takes the witness stand

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rose isn't just a lazy dog, because being calm is her job.

Rose is a service dog.

The 11-year old golden retriever's specialty is comforting people.

Just last week Rose became a pioneer: the first service dog in New York State to sit on a witness stand during a trial.

The case in Poughkeepsie was a particularly difficult one.

A 15-year-old girl testified against the man who had sexually abused her over a four-year period.

The victim turned to Rose for support.

Despite her experience, Rose spent five weeks getting ready for this assignment by getting to know the victim, the prosecutor, and she even prepared for being on the witness stand.

The back story on Rose's trainers is just as remarkable.

Lu and Dale Piccard started their canine training program 15 years ago.

It operates out of six alternative schools that give troubled youngsters a second chance.

The program has trained nearly 200 dogs working in over a dozen states helping people with disabilities, including many veterans.

Back in Poughkeepsie, the victim's testimony resulted in a guilty verdict.

As for Rose, she's booked to assist in another trial next month.

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poughkeepsie, new york state, dog, northern suburbs news, marcus solis
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