Brookfield counseling center adds new staff member — a pup trained to provide comfort to clients

BROOKFIELD — The Christian Counseling Center of Greater Danbury has welcomed a furry addition to its staff — a pup named Apricot.

The almost-2-year-old golden retriever hails from Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities — a Winsted-based nonprofit, also known as ECAD, that breeds and trains dogs to assist people with disabilities and other needs.

Joined by Christian Counseling Center staff members Chris Barrett and Glenn Johnson, Apricot graduated as a trained facility dog from ECAD on Wednesday.

With Barrett as her primary handler, Apricot will join fellow facility dog, 5-year-old Olympic, in providing comfort to people in need at the Brookfield-based counseling center.

Located on Old New Milford Road, the Christian Counseling Center is a private, nonprofit, interdenominational organization that offers professional counseling services to people in the Danbury area.

Olympic — also known as “Ollie” — has been with the center since December 2018, and is also a golden retriever from ECAD.

“Ollie has been doing some work with military members, as well as sitting in on individual sessions,” said Barrett, who facilitates grief support groups at the Christian Counseling Center. “Apricot will do some individual session work as well, and also sit in on some of the groups I run.”

Barrett said Apricot and Olympic will also provide out-of-facility counseling services.

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