Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Colorado prison-trained dog turned autistic boy's life around

photo - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. - January 22: 11 year old Zachary Tucker a 5th grader at Otero Elementary in Colorado Springs getting some afternoon exercise with his dog Clyde at a park near his home. Clyde a service dog helps Zach with his Aspergers syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Clyde was trained by Christopher Vogt, a convicted murderer now in the Trinidad Correctional Facility in Model, CO. January 08, 2014 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post) + caption
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. - January 22: 11 year old Zachary Tucker a 5th grader at Otero Elementary in Colorado Springs getting some afternoon exercise with his dog Clyde at a park near his home. Clyde a service dog helps Zach with his Aspergers syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Clyde was trained by Christopher Vogt, a convicted murderer now in the Trinidad Correctional Facility in Model, CO. January 08, 2014 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post)
The Denver Post Updated: January 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Susy Tucker marks the time her autistic son, Zach, began hugging her again — after a lapse of four years — by the arrival of Clyde, a chocolate Labrador trained behind bars by a convicted killer.

Within three weeks of Clyde's arrival at the Tuckers' home in Colorado Springs, Zach went from petting his dog to wrapping his arms around his mother. It was a stunning moment, one of many to follow. The boy who once grimaced and whined at any skin-to-skin contact had learned the warmth of touching from a dog.

Zach and Clyde's story is one of redemption — of how a rescue dog, a prisoner and a boy

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