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.
How long have you been a therapy dog? Officially a year, but I have worked with Asera Care Hospice for two years.
“The best part of my job is…” Cuddling with patients and hugs from kids. I also like seeing the ladies in Admissions. I also love raw carrots.
Describe your personality: Chill. What they say about all terriers being high-strung is simply not true. Maybe a bit OCD and occasionally stubborn, but not high-strung. Now my little sister Riesling is a different story. She’s a crazy little dog who likes to chew on my leg. Puppies!
What tricks do you know? I’m not really a trick kind of gal. Did what I had to do for Therapy Dog International, but nothing fancy. I will shake hands and look deeply into your eyes for a carrot. Mom and I tried out agility and it was fun but only when I could do it my way. I tried to tell mom it’s too easy to just run through a tunnel when you can run on top of the tunnel back and forth a few times first and any dog can go over the A-frame, but I thought it would be more interesting to go back up it. Mom sighed a lot during those classes.
Favorite human food? Carrots and watermelon.
Favorite toy? Nylabones, especially the dinosaur-shaped ones and my stuffed Trout when I can get it away from Ries.
Favorite movie? Not really into movies, but I love cooking shows.
Biggest pet peeve? Having to walk by Martin’s Café several times during my rounds. It smells so good but mom won’t let me visit. I’m sure I would make everyone who works there feel better if given the chance. I’m really good with ‘leave it’ and did I mention that it smells so good!
Who’s your hero and why? It will sound kind of old school, but Lassie was pretty special. I would love it if my people always understood me on the first bark.
Car rides or walks? Walks. I love all the smells, especially if the neighbors are grilling out.
Rawhide or pig’s ear? I tend to go for the vegetable-based products. At least, that’s what mom lets me have.
“I get so excited when my owner says…” Let’s go!
“I will never forget the time when I…” Met my moms and they brought me to my forever home.
How would you describe your perfect day? Breakfast, then check out the yard, nap, play with Ries, then nap, wander the backyard and sleep in the sun for a bit, then dinner, more play time, nap and then go to bed.
If you could talk, what advice would you give the patients you see? Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. We are here to help and make your stay as comfortable as possible.