Therapy dogs bring smiles to somber courthouse proceedings
FREDERICK, Md. — All kinds walk through the security checkpoints at the Frederick County Courthouse on any given day, but few manage to turn heads like Giuseppe, Welton, Zeke and Zoey.
“We’re just the handlers. They call us ‘the dopes on the ends of the ropes,’” said Francina Baldi with a smile as she led Giuseppe, a 3-year-old mini goldendoodle, toward the stairwell through a cluster of onlookers July 10. “It’s the dogs who are the stars.”
Stopping patiently to give everyone the chance to kneel down to pet the adorable entourage, the dogs’ handlers gradually made their way up to Magistrate Hearing Room 1 on the second floor where, every Wednesday, the court’s Children in Need of Assistance cases are heard.