Our four-legged volunteers are always ready to lend a paw. They are Beacon’s pet therapy dogs. Sixteen specially trained and certified pups can be found making the rounds with their handlers, comforting patients who miss their own dog and bringing smiles to associates at Memorial and Elkhart General. You will meet our tail-wagging teams in the weeks ahead during our special “Dog Days of Summer” series.

Name: Fox
Age: 5
Breed: Pomeranian (blonde)
Handler: Teresa Sheppard
Hometown: Niles, Michigan

How long have you been a therapy dog? Almost 4 years.

The best part of my job is…” Visiting with people in the heart and vascular area; Getting lots of tummy rubs, head scratches and love; Being given string cheese from the nurses.

Describe your personality: Quiet, easy going, very magical. I mesmerize people.

What tricks do you do? What’s a trick?

Favorite human food: Chicken. If not chicken, pretty much anything!

Favorite toy: My brother Louie — the pug — who steals all of my toys.

Favorite movie: Fargo. That chipper-shredder is cool.

Biggest pet peeve: When people stop scratching my head! I have to nudge her. That’s good, too!

Rawhide or pig’s ear? Nope — bully sticks.

I get so excited when my owner says…” Do you want to go to work? My ears perk up and I dance in a circle.

“I will never forget the time when I…” Passed my therapy dog certification test — for the second time. I need to take it every two years. Mom was nervous, they said even more than me!

How would you describe your perfect day? Getting up, taking a walk, getting my meds wrapped up in turkey slices (Mom thinks she’s hiding it), giving Mom licks, going to the hospital to see my friends, going shopping, going home and taking a nap. I have a good life!!

If you could talk, what advice would you give the patients you see? I would tell them I love them, and that I hope my visit to them will bring many smiles to their memories of the hospital.