Life Connected

Life Connected

Sharing the connections among Southern Californians       |       Sunday at 11PM on NBC4 News

Life Connected: Service Dog is 9-Year-Old Boy's "Therapist, Motivator"

View Comments ()



    Kim Sinclair s 9-year-old son, Ryan, has cerebral palsy. His service dog, Tiffi, acts as the boy's friend, motivator and provides a much-needed sensory source. She s even helped him learn to speak. Vikki Vargas reports from Redondo Beach for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012)

    Ryan Sinclair, 9, has cerebral palsy, but thanks to his dog, Tiffi, he has a bridge to the outside world.

    “When Tiffi wags her tail, sometimes he puts his head or arms near her and that gives him a needed soft touch,” said Kim Sinclair, Ryan’s mother.

    Late Artists Live On in East LA Exhibit

    [LA] Life Connected: Late Artists Live On in East LA Exhibit
    Victoria Price says her father, actor Vincent Price, wanted to curate art for the East LA community. The latest exhibit at Price's museum showcases Carlos Almaraz, an LA studio art star and AIDS victim. Almarez's friend says the artist's work proves "you're not trapped by your environment being from East LA." John Cadiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012)

    For Ryan, that touch has a calming effect. And Tiffi was bred for this life: a life connected to volunteer puppy raisers, professional dog trainers and a boy who cannot speak.

    One bark, and Ryan breaks out in laughter. Kim Sinclair said Tiffi is her son’s therapist and motivator.

    Key to Little Tokyo's Future: Basketball?

    [LA] Key to Little Tokyo's Future: Basketball?
    Supporters hope a struggle to preserve the historic Japanese-American neighborhood near downtown LA will get an unlikely boost -- from basketball. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012)

    The 3-year-old golden lab was raised by Bonnie Mueller, who took the pup into her San Clemente home for a year and a half. Mueller volunteers with Canine Companions for Independence and is training her twelfth dog. She considers each one a gift.

    “I’m so excited when they go on, but I am losing my puppy,” Mueller said.

    Mueller teaches the pups basic commands, which she says could lead to milestones. For example, paws on a wall will someday learn how to turn on a light switch.

    Some 4,000 canines across the country are working as service dogs.

    “For us,” Kim Sinclair said, “it’s added so much value and love and we have an incredible network of people.”

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts