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by Isabel Mosseler
The Animal Planet (Canada) television network was in Sturgeon Falls several days last week to film a segment of their series called Collar of Duty, with Marcel Martel and his service dog, Teigan.
Marcel and Teigan have previously been featured in The Tribune, when Teigan was still a young pup and in her first phase of training. Marcel was suffering severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from his years serving as an EMS paramedic, when he first became an advocate for other emergency service personnel suffering similar issues. It was also at this time that he acquired his service dog, Teigan, who has helped him in a variety of ways, from companion to protector.
Collar of Duty is a 12-part original Canadian series that captures true stories based around service and therapy animals that transform human lives, examining the relationship between the animal and the person, from prisons to classrooms to courtrooms to private homes. It shows the way service animals interact with their humans to care, save, warn, protect, communicate and heal. The show has featured all kinds of animals, from horses to dogs to rats, and the impact they have on the humans they serve.
Teigan, a golden lab, was trained with Laura MacKenzie of K-9 Country Inn of Barrie, Ontario. It was Laura who submitted Marcel’s name to Animal Planet as a worthwhile story for the series. “I found Marcel was a really good advocate for service dogs,” she says. “He’s an educator for what a service dog is. …I trained Marcel to train his dog. I’m a support person if he has questions or problems.” She explains that Animal Planet put out a call on Facebook that they were looking for service dogs, and her suggestion was picked up.