EADT Suffolk - - SUFFOLK DOGS - Owned by Sarah Lucy Brown and Craig Robin­son

and the pub­lic.” Al­though it’s still early in his ca­reer, Troy has scored some suc­cesses in find­ing prop­erty at crime scenes. There will be more train­ing for him and Jon in deal­ing with dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios, and each year the pair will need to for­mally re­new the li­cence for their part­ner­ship.

Troy lives at home with Jon – and Buddy, of course – and while theirs is a work­ing re­la­tion­ship they are the best of friends.

Af­fec­tion­ately known as ‘Troy the boy’, he is, says Jon, an en­er­getic, hard-work­ing dog, ready for ac­tion the minute he’s on duty. “I’d say he’s driven,” laughs Jon. “I love him to bits.”

Dud­ley is a three-year-old cock­apoo, who lives with pho­tog­ra­pher Sarah Lucy Brown and jour­nal­ist Craig Robin­son in Ip­swich. Much pho­tographed (un­der­stand­ably), he’s es­tab­lished him­self on In­sta­gram (Dud­ley­robin­son­brown) where he has al­most 900 fol­low­ers.

“He’s quite a char­ac­ter,” says Sarah. “There is no doubt that he rules the roost. Since day one, he has al­ways en­joyed a cud­dle and is in­cred­i­bly lov­ing. Mis­chievous be­yond be­lief, he has a great sense of fun and loves to play.

“Watch­ing him run free in the park with his bound­less en­ergy is a real joy, but like Craig and my­self he is hap­pi­est on the coast. He adores the beach and likes noth­ing bet­ter than tak­ing a dip in the sea. He’s even be­come ac­cus­tomed to pos­ing for my photos – so long as there’s a re­ward of some chicken or sausage at the end of it! We couldn’t imag­ine our lives with­out it him – he re­ally is part of the fam­ily.”

to­gether and came up with Brainy Dogs.

What makes a Brainy Dog? “Rather than breed, it’s down to tem­per­a­ment and per­son­al­ity,” says So­phie. “Dogs must have good tem­per­a­ments and be so­cia­ble. It’s a case of match­ing the right dog to the client, tak­ing into ac­count, age, size, train­abil­ity, client’s abil­i­ties and so on. Our clients have a wide range of abil­i­ties and dis­abil­i­ties, with some be­ing wheel chair de­pen­dent through to oth­ers en­joy­ing walk­ing for hours each day. It is there­fore vi­tal we match the clients and dogs for their suit­abil­ity to­gether.

All train­ing is done in-house helped by vol­un­teers from five dif­fer­ent sec­tors – prison­ers, peo­ple on pro­ba­tion, peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems, peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, and chil­dren in the care of the Raed­wald trust. “There are many ben­e­fits to these vol­un­teers from work­ing with the dogs too, so if any­one wants to be in­volved and they fall in to any of those sec­tors please let us know,” says So­phie.

Dog lovers can help Head­way by be­ing a Brainy Dog boarder, pro­vid­ing a home in the evenings and week­ends when a dog is in train­ing at the cen­tre, and oc­ca­sion­ally in an emer­gency if a Head­way client is taken ill, for ex­am­ple.

To find out more bout Brainy Dogs and how to have one you can con­tact Head­way ei­ther via the web­site or by phone, or via re­fer­rals from a so­cial worker, GP, or other agency. head­way­suf­folk.org.uk

“Dogs must have good tem­per­a­ments and be so­cia­ble. It’s a case of match­ing the right dog to the client,”

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