Sigmund Freud may be one of the most famous names in history but he's got nothing on the Southern Highlands version.
Freud is a seven year oldkelpie x staffy x labradorand works with his feline sister Romy as therapy animals.
Having been adopted by clinical psychotherapist Alyse Tobler, both animals spend their new lives helping some of the most vulnerable in society.
Alyse, who works at Bowral Road Counseling and Psychotherapy and is involved with Friends of Wingecarribee Animal Shelter (FOWAS), said both animals had unique origin stories.
"He [Freud] was nine months old, he was still in the shelter after being taken back twice. So he was a pretty anxious little boy," she told the Southern Highland News.
"I was on the FOWAS committee for about five or six years and the committee raises a lot of funds for surgery for animals.
"When Romy came through the system [she was ill], my daughter's a vet nurse and said we have to get that cat. She had to get surgery and have one of her legs taken off so she's a three-legged cat, otherwise known as a tripod."
In fact, it's these rough starts to life that make them such good companions for those in treatment.
"I actually use him out in the rooms as a therapy dog especially for people who are displaced or adopted or just don't really fit into society," she said.
"They really respond well to Freud because they know he's had a bit of a rough story, particularly anyone who's been through the foster care system or who has lost their family.
"Freud is a very friendly dog, he is very close to me. He's definitely my dog, he goes everywhere with me and he rides around in my convertible, he loves that."
Meanwhile Romy, short for Andromeda, has been a particular help to people with disabilities.
"I use her with people that have disabilities as well and particularly people who are amputees," she explained.
"They really like when I bring her into the room. I do a lot of garden counselling as well so she'll come out into the garden with us."
But what makes this duo so effective? Alyse believes it is the calming presence and non-judgemental attitude that stands in such sharp contrast to society.
"I work with a lot of NDIS clients and they are the ones who respond a lot more to the animals," she said.
"They don't feel threatened by the animals, that's what it is.
"The animals give them unconditional love."
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