Bonnie the Golden Retriever has received an award for her work to help a young person during counselling sessions at our Wodonga office.
Bonnie was presented with a certificate of appreciation and received a doggy bag snack pack at a recent staff function.
The eight-year-old dog often accompanies receptionist Lynn O’Connell to work, sitting behind the front desk.
Bonnie made such a strong connection with a teenage client that she joined her counselling sessions, helping her to talk more openly.
Watch our one minute video of Bonnie’s work day at Junction:
Eighteen-year-old client Maddi said she was waiting for a counselling appointment and saw Bonnie through the window behind reception.
“Lynn brought her out to say hello and I started playing with her,” Maddi said. “The next time that I came in for counselling Bonnie came into the session and she’s been coming in ever since.
“Bonnie distracted me and helped me to stop overthinking. She created happiness in the room and that made it easier for me to talk.”
Maddi encouraged other young people who are having problems to open up to a counsellor through Junction or their school.
Our Client Services Manager Janine Lawler said staff at the not-for-profit organisation loved dogs and some regularly brought their pets to work, including at an annual bring your dog to work day.
“The way Bonnie and Maddi have engaged has been beautiful to watch,” she said. “The remarkable progress Maddi has made through counselling and having Bonnie support her at the sessions has prompted us to book Bonnie in with some other clients.”
“We’re very proud of the progress Maddi has made and she should be very proud of herself.”