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'Amazing' therapy dog saves woman who was considering taking her life on a motorway bridge

The 3-year-old Australian Labradoodle normally helps firefighters in therapy sessions to deal with trauma.

'Amazing' therapy dog saves woman who was considering taking her life on a motorway bridge
Image Source: Twitter/Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

A therapy dog is being hailed as a lifesaver after he played a role in convincing a woman who was considering taking her own life to rethink her decision. Digby, a 3-year-old Australian Labradoodle, normally helps firefighters in therapy sessions to deal with trauma. However, on Tuesday, the "defusing" dog used his charm to save a woman's life in what has become yet another testament to the therapeutic effect canines have on humans. Digby has become an online sensation after the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service shared his incredible deed in a Twitter thread that's been liked over 83k times.



 

 

According to BBC, emergency services were called to the M5 in Devon just before 11:00 BST on June 15 following a report of concern for welfare for a woman. Devon and Cornwall Police explained in the thread that it was at the incident "as part of a multi-agency response" before Digby β€” who began working with the fire service in 2018 β€” was brought in to calm the woman. "This is Digby. Today he did something amazing and helped save a young woman who was thinking of taking her own life on a bridge over the M5 near Exeter," the thread began. "We were at the incident as part of a multi-agency response. Police negotiators were speaking with the woman but the situation was becoming increasingly worrying."



 

 

"One of the fire crews had the idea to bring along Digby, our 'defusing' dog. Digby helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy 'defusing' sessions. When Digby arrived, the young woman immediately swung her head round to look, and smiled," the first service revealed. "This got a conversation started about Digby and his role at the fire service. She was asked if she would like to come and meet Digby if she came back over the railings, which we are pleased to say she did. We wish the woman involved all the best in her recovery."



 

Recounting the incident in a recent interview, Digby's handler Matt Goodman said: "There was a multi-agency response to an incident and they were dealing with a situation where an individual was in a very vulnerable location and was in a vulnerable position psychologically as well. We're well-versed to responding to incidents like that and we'd got all three emergency services on scene, police negotiators were doing their best to engage with the individual."



 



 



 



 



 

 

"And we'd got specialist assets with hydrolic platforms and specialist rescue teams. But unfortunately, the individual wasn't prepared for any of those resources to come anywhere near her, so we were unable to deploy and put in place any sort of plan to resolve the incident," Goodman continued. "So that took some outside-the-box type of thinking. [I] got a call out of the blue, I happened to be around the corner. They suggested that Digby might be able to help the situation. So, Digby β€” working with the police negotiators β€” went over to the individual and there was an immediate response."



 

 

"So, quite literally, the area was sterile. The police and the negotiators were doing their best to liaise with the individual. They suggested that we take the dog over. So [Digby] was able to go over and meet that person and they responded immediately. They got eye contact and they were able then to start talking about their own experience with dogs. Through the negotiator, [the police] were able to encourage the person to a place of safety. So [Digby] enabled the situation to be resolved and it was a really great outcome," he added. Since going viral on social media for his invaluable contribution toward saving a person's life, Digby has been bombarded with love and offers of treats and gifts from netizens. The fire service, however, said in a tweet that the labradoodle "would rather you donate to people who are in difficult situations. Like the Samaritans or The Fire Fighters Charity."

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