Houlton Courthouse Pup

WGME recently reported that the Aroostook County courthouse will be the first in the state to have a comfort dog and it’s a young yellow Labrador retriever named Holiday.

Holiday will have a very important job. Arguably one of the most important jobs at the courthouse. Holiday will be providing comfort to those at the courthouse that need it most.

It’s easy to forget that it’s not just those we view as “bad” people or criminals walking into the courthouse day in and day out. There are also many victims. There are those who have endured unimaginable traumas and ache for an ounce of normalcy as they jump through the hoops within the justice system.

Plus there are children that end up in court for a number of reasons that are just trying to make sense of the world. A dog like Holiday gives those kids and the most vulnerable people that enter the courthouse something humans may not be able to provide. Comfort.

Keep it Going

Aroostook County is the first to have a comfort dog but I hope this will eventually become the rule and not the exception.

I can only imagine being someone who endured a violent act, mental anguish, injuries, etc. I can only imagine being that person and entering an almost sterile courtroom. Suits, formalities, legal jargon, and just wanting a moment of peace and normalcy. A sweet pup would truly do wonders in moments like that. Additionally working in a courthouse environment can be stressful and burdensome. Holiday will help staff as well.

WGME reports that while the Houlton courthouse has other working dogs they work in an unofficial capacity. Holiday is finishing up training and once complete will have 208 hours of training under her collar to make her an officially licensed courthouse dog.

Good luck, Holiday, the goodest courthouse girl! Here’s hoping we see more around Maine in the coming years.

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