Brian Benson has spent over 30 years in the post-production industry working as a Visual Effects Supervisor and artist. He has worked on countless projects; ranging from highly creative & design-based to extremely technical with photo-real effects for feature films, music videos, promos and TV commercials. Although his work passion is visual effects, his side passion is working with animals.
As therapy dog handler, Brian sees first hand the incredible effect Magnus has on the people they visit. When COVID-19 put all in person pet therapy visits on hold, they needed to find another way to reach people and bring them comfort. Creating online content provided a way to do this while keeping everyone involved safe.
A native New Yorker, Brian is an outdoor enthusiast who loves spending time with his 2 daughters, working out, running obstacle races, volunteering and traveling.
Magnus is a 7 year old yellow Labrador Retriever. He was originally bred and raised to become a service dog for the blind, but like many people, Magnus had a career change. Brian adopted Magnus to be his family pet, but from the moment he saw how Magnus interacted with his two young daughters, he knew that Magnus was destined for something more. Something bigger, something much better.
After lots of research it became obvious that Magnus' personality, temperament, and intelligence were perfect for a therapy dog. Brian found a very reputable therapy dog organization in his area and immediately had Magnus certified and trained so they could become a pet therapy team.
As a pet therapy team, Brian & Magnus visit hospitals to comfort terminally ill children and adults. They visit with their grieving families and the overworked hospital staff who care for these patients. They also work extensively with children who have severe learning disabilities and emotional disorders.
It is easy to teach a dog basic commands; sit, stay down, etc. However, the one thing that you cannot teach a dog is empathy. This is where Magnus really shines. He has a natural ability to read people and understand what they need. Everyone who encounters Magnus cannot help smiling and feeling relaxed. He has a calming nature about him that relieves any stress or anxiety you may have, and he always makes you feel at ease. Magnus always brings the smiles, joy and love.
Our motto is "life is better with a dog" and Magnus exemplifies this everyday!