It was one of those days in the courtroom. Tension was building up as the judge entered the courtroom, and the suspect was about to come out in handcuffs. This one little girl named Sara was the main witness of the trial, and she was going up the stand in a few minutes. To her relief, Karl was there.
Karl was a therapy dog. Because he was there, Sara felt a little bit better. However, as soon as the assailant walked towards their booth, the girl froze with terrified eyes. She gave Karl a hand signal, and the dog lept up. The whole courtroom gasped and stood up, but, unfortunately, it was too late…
To complete the team is the most outstanding therapy dog and the star member of the group, Karl. Karl is a five-year-old white boxer. His weight is 65 pounds.
He is a part of the Companions for Courage and the K-9th Circuit Program, who are allowed to appear in courts as a therapy dog to provide support for testifying children. Karl is always bringing smiles to every person he encounters. However, there’s one particular thing that makes him special and different from the rest of the team.
All therapy dogs are exceptional, but Karl has just something that made him even more special. Karl is a deaf dog. His deafness is his greatest asset since he doesn’t react to any noises in the courtroom and can focus purely on comforting those he is.
His disability is what makes him a superb courtroom therapy dog. But there’s something else Karl has been hiding from everyone. Soon everyone will be shocked to see who this dog actually was.
Training Karl is a big challenge, having known that he is deaf. But, with the perseverance of his trainer, Joanne, Karl became an exemplary therapy dog. Knowing that Karl has deafness, Joanne had focused on having a different type of training because he couldn’t hear the commands, which were smartly resolved.
With Joanne’s creative way of training Karl, the dog learned American Sign Language and has soon excelled in his work after being able to understand this. One day that skill would change everything for this dog and one little girl.
Karl was very popular with kids because of his calm demeanor. He is a large dog in the children’s eyes that’s why kids feel that Karl can make them feel safe and protected.
Karl’s empathetic nature and ability are the factors that give the children a calming effect and put children at ease. He also came dressed to the courtroom in some ridiculous outfits, which are also helping to alleviate the stress that the kids are experiencing. But there was something else that this dog was hiding and would soon reveal…
Courtrooms are a real waiting game, so being patient is a must. The virtue of patience is not only practiced by humans but is also applicable to Karl. The dog knows too well how to wait because this is what he has trained for.
He has even taught himself how to sit on the bench and patiently wait for his friends to arrive. Karl is just filled up with goodness in his heart, even with the fact that he cannot hear what is around him.
Children who are testifying in courtrooms can feel terrified at the spotlight and pressure that they are getting from the crowd. As a child, their mind will make them feel that they face such a significant circumstance because they are being exposed to a dire situation.
This will make them feel afraid and not fully let out what they want to express or speak. Therefore, courtroom dogs are there to assure them that they are not alone. Did Karl perform his duty this time?
One of the cases that the court came into contact with was testimony from a little girl. Sara was assaulted. The assault had brought her emotional damage firsthand to which her guardian had seen and came to learn with.
Sara is said not to want to go to the courtroom anymore and not press charges because she was apprehensive about facing the man who wronged her. However, the effect of the assault on the little girl gave her anxieties and nightmares.
Upon arriving in the courtroom, Sara didn’t want to go inside the room at all. She couldn’t get out of the car because she didn’t want to go.
Entering the courtroom, the little girl froze as she saw again the man who was the reason for all her anxieties and nightmares, and this was somehow another time to have fear run down her spine again. She just then walked directly to the seat where she was going to testify.
Feeling the fear and the shakes all over her body, Sara was terrified about the looks and the pressures that the people inside the courtroom were giving her. She cannot utter a single word because of it.
Looking around, she saw a dog, and at that moment, she felt the need to have a companion. She thinks that the dog can be her protection and give her the feeling of being safe despite being pushed to speak up.
Sara gave Karl hand signals to which other people believed, especially Karl’s trainer, which is considered a secret code between the young children and Karl. Desperate from needing to have someone to lean on at that moment, the little girl playfully gets the dog’s attention by making hand signs.
The people in the courtroom then noticed what the girl was doing. The next thing that happened surprised them with how the dog responded.
Karl, having a realization that someone needed him, came over to Sara. After that, the little girl was able to deliver all her prep sessions and depositions successfully. Karl did not only give her the security that she needed, but he also gave her the courage and the confidence that she had lacked at that time.
The dog stayed and sat with her throughout her testifying session. Karl has indeed saved the day again.
For the subsequent trials, Sara was getting out of the car only to see Karl and not minding the deposition of the prosecution. Karl has done a lot for her, and one of them was bringing her trusting people back.
Through the help of Karl, she has gained the comfort and security that she has been entailing for. Having Karl by her side gave her the strength that she will bear out everything that will give her the justice that she deserves.
Karl never left the little Sara’s side until the end of all her trials. With Karl’s presence, she could get through the entire trial without any problems, and all of her prepping had paid off.
The support that she was getting from Karl has made a dramatic difference not only to the little girl’s life but also to everyone who has seen the gestures that Karl has acted upon. Despite being deaf, Karl was still able to understand and know the people who needed his help.
The story about Karl and Sara has reached and spread to millions of people around the globe. Karl has received many praises and compliments from the people, and it was a great help in giving awareness about the program that he was part of.
Karl’s impact had brought so much change in how people perceive things. It also taught them that even if you are different, you can still dare to make a difference.
Karl became a great courtroom therapy dog. He isn’t just popular with the children only. He is also known practically by everyone because he makes friends everywhere he goes.
Everyone benefits from having Karl or other therapy dogs around them, especially inside the courtroom. Having dogs inside the courtroom has helped ease the growing tensions that are building up while trials are going on.
Karl, being a therapy dog is such a fantastic idea. People have sent their adorations for Karl, and they were astonished by how Karl performed. On the other hand, Karl has consistently done his job to the best that he can.
He was always ready to offer someone help, and he was always prepared to listen to them. The helpful pup was behaving beyond what he was expected to make Karl not only a special dog but an outstanding one.
Even after trials, Karl does not just leave and go. He still has his continued support for everyone that he has been with. He does not just disappear in the lives of the people, especially the children. His support continues outside the courtroom.
These are the reasons why Karl was recognized to be a great therapy dog. He understands that the need for people for help does not just remain inside the courtroom.
Karl has been living his life not knowing that he was treated as a hero to every person he has helped with. His heroic acts have explicitly given the people the feeling of belongingness when they are losing their trust in people and themselves.
His disability did not stop him from doing his responsibility as a therapy dog. He has always been doing his job more than the extent of his capabilities.
Karl does not just treat the people, specifically the kids, that have needed his help as patients. Instead, he treated them as friends. They aren’t just getting security from Karl.
They are also getting the kind of sympathy that they need which has an even deeper meaning. In return, Karl has been getting lots of love and affection from the kids he constantly enjoyed because this is what every dog wanted.
All therapy dogs are unique because they can offer security and companionship to those who need it most. They do not just work for kids and adults but also with the judges, who have a hard time deliberating the cases.
These therapy dogs work according to the shifts that they are being assigned. It’s either they work in the morning or the afternoon. Thus, they never miss out on the opportunity to bring some love and light to someone’s day.
Karl and the other therapy dogs have been making a difference because their will and drive to help people who are in need are just incomparable. Their kindness to accompany the weary hearts of the people is very spectacular.
The incredible difference these therapy dogs have made during some of the most challenging and vulnerable moments in people’s lives has unlocked more opportunities to learn that kindness and generosity are what the world needs the most.
We always try to find someone or something that can give us the safe space that we need. When we feel alone and afraid, we try to get the feeling of belongingness from someone or something to ease the tension that we feel inside our heads and deep down our hearts.
From the story, Karl’s presence gave the kids in courtrooms the feeling of being secured. He was their safe space. How about you? Are you also willing to become a safe space for someone?