West the Wonder Dog

West the Wonder Dog: Transforming Lives One Hug at a Time

Sergeant Nulty and West

When West arrived in October of 2022, he immediately became a local celebrity in a sense. Anyone who met West would comment on how well-trained he is and how calm and focused his demeanor was. West immediately started visiting multiple schools and assisting children who were having difficulty in the classroom. The teachers appeared to see West as a miracle worker as he could put a smile on a child’s face immediately and completely change their behavior for the better with a simple hug, squish, or even a high five. It was immediately obvious the incredible training West received from GDA | TLC particularly when attending events with other dogs. Other dog handlers would inevitably comment on how well-trained West is and how well he works with people and other working dogs. 

In one instance, a child who had been having a difficult time at home and in school was crying on the floor in the school hallway at the end of the day. Other kids were leaving and heading to their bus or after-school programs while this child sat on the floor crying and did not want to move despite several teachers’ efforts to assist the child offering to walk him to his afterschool program. I just happened to be walking by with West and offered to see if West could help.

 A teacher shook her head and said she didn’t think it would help. I simply walked over to the boy as he was sitting on the floor with his head in between his knees. I told West to “hug” and West proceeded to place his head on the boy’s shoulder and back area. The boy immediately reacted and threw his arms around West. He then stood up and asked if West could walk him to his afterschool program. The teachers were shocked at how quickly the boy’s attitude changed and were very grateful to have West there to help. Although this is only one example of how West helps people, there have been numerous instances where West has turned someone’s day around for the better. 

West and I also visit and attend events involving the elderly population within the community as well as surrounding towns. I will speak about Guide Dogs of America | Tender Loving Canines and inform them how West was trained and the amount of time and money that goes into each and every dog.  We are often asked to attend different outreach events in surrounding communities and West never fails to perform. He is always willing to work, giving hugs, squishes, and even delivering his own trading cards to people who ask for one. 

West truly enjoys working which is evident by his wagging tail whenever he is interacting with someone.  In addition to visiting schools and scheduled community events, West responds to calls for service and is always available for anyone who would benefit from animal-assisted therapy. This may include someone who has recently lost a loved one, an individual who is suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health-related issues, or even victims of various crimes.  

West embraced by child

Additionally, West can assist with de-escalating various situations where an individual may not be as open to talking directly with an Officer. West’s calm professional demeanor is immediately apparent and often initiates positive conversations about his extensive training and background.  

Lastly, as most are aware, Law Enforcement can be a very stressful occupation. Each day West is at work, he provides comfort and services to the Officers within the Sherborn Police Department. He manages to visit and interact with most Officers on shift and has been known to summon a belly rub or two along the way. West has also responded to and assisted the Fire Department on various types of calls and services. Having West working as a Facility Dog for the Police Department has provided a unique and productive avenue to communicate and interact with the public. Community policing is imperative in today’s world and West is the perfect liaison to facilitate positive relationships. 

Your generosity has brought life-changing transformations to communities like the Sherborn community.

About Sergeant Nulty

Sergeant Nulty works in the Sherborn Police Department in Massachusetts.