Musa is a must-have dog

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch -

WHEN peo­ple say ‘You don’t look like you need a ser­vice dog’, Mt Clare­mont res­i­dent Robbi Flynn sim­ply replies ‘Well, that’s be­cause I have one’. Ms Flynn said her labrador cross mas­tiff Musa was a typ­i­cal 20-month-old an­noy­ing puppy who chewed on her wal­let and stole chicken off din­ner plates while at home. But as soon as he puts on his spe­cial vest to go out in pub­lic, Musa knows he has a very se­ri­ous job to do. “Musa is in train­ing to be­come a psy­chi­atric ser­vice dog to help with my post trau­matic stress disorder and bipo­lar,” the 25-year-old said. “When I get anx­ious I gen­er­ally twitch with my hands and fid­dle more, so I’m teach­ing him to come and nudge me with his nose as if to say: ‘Hey, you’re get­ting a bit ner­vous now, take a breather’. “The most im­por­tant task I use with Musa is deep pres­sure ther­apy, which ba­si­cally just looks like him sit­ting on me. “He leans back into my chest un­til my heart rate has bal­anced with his. Its just like hu­man-an­i­mal in­stinct, you nat­u­rally want to bond to­gether.” Ms Flynn was 20years-old when she trained her first ser­vice dog, jack rus­sell cross corgi Comix. “Hon­estly, I would not be here to­day if it weren’t for my dogs,” she said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Robbi Flynn and ser­vice dog in train­ing Musa.

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