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Our Four-Legged Staff Member: Braelynn

By: Alecia Treichel
August 27, 2021

Braelynn, a 2-year-old black Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, joined the Dee Norton staff in December of 2020 as our second facility dog when she was matched with Annalise Gunn, one of our forensic interviewers and therapists. Braelynn
has since provided a calming presence and an extra layer of support to help child victims heal from abuse and trauma.

When a teenage boy came to Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center for an assessment with therapist Annalise Gunn, he began talking about some community violence he had experienced. While discussing the events, the teenage boy started exhibiting strong feelings. Sensing this, Braelynn immediately laid her head on his lap and let the teenage boy pet her while he talked about the incident and the feelings it caused. Later, after he de-escalated, he said, “Braelynn helped me feel better.”

While Braelynn is a key member in helping Dee Norton’s clients, she has also been there for the staff during COVID. She has been able to provide comfort and peace while staff navigates these times. Braelynn works alongside Annalise at our Downtown location, while Viper, our other facility dog who works with Lexi Mannson, will remain at our East Cooper location. Braelynn is trustworthy in professional environments and can perform over 40 commands designed to motivate and inspire clients. Whether working with children or our staff, he is a great addition to the Dee Norton family.

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