Through Connecticut Children’s Therapy Dog Program, our dedicated team of certified, fully-trained therapy dogs and volunteers visit the Medical Center on a regular basis to bring comfort and cheer to our patients, families and team members. Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to a few of our four-legged-friends and their handlers. Today, volunteer Ken shares some fun facts about his “pawesome” partner Rosie!
Rosie’s age: 11 years (senior citizen like her partner!)
Breed: Golden Retriever
Favorite treat: Cheerios (breakfast cereal)
Favorite activity: Rosie, like most goldens, just thrives on attention so pet therapy visits is definitely the activity she gets most excited about (as anyone who has seen her dragging me through the parking garage at Connecticut Children’s to the elevators would attest). A very close second favorite activity is chasing and catching frisbees with her sister Autumn… it’s inbred in these retrievers!!
Favorite Connecticut Children’s moment: In July 2017, the Connecticut Children’s residents selected Rosie for their monthly Resident Recognition Award.
Additional trivia about Rosie: Rosie began making pet therapy visits at St. Francis Hospital in 2010 at the age of 3 after passing her certification exam from what was then called the Delta Society. Pet Partners took over Delta Society shortly thereafter and Rosie has to get re-tested and re-certified every two years.
Rosie and I joined the pet therapy teams at Connecticut Children’s in February 2015 at the prompting of my son David who was doing his residency at Connecticut Children’s and truly believed the kids would benefit from interaction with Rosie.
Rosie currently visits patients on the 8th floor of Connecticut Children’s every 3rd Tuesday. From there we go to one of the various outpatient clinics to make more friends. Before heading home Rosie and I try to make it a point to eat lunch in the cafeteria knowing full well that there will be plenty more outpatients, family members, siblings and staff that will stop by to pet her! While Rosie is still freshly groomed we make pet therapy visits the next day (every 3rd Wednesday) at St. Francis Hospital.
In addition to our scheduled visits, Connecticut Children’s provides us with several other opportunities to meet with patients, family and staff such as the SibShop program in the Family Resource Center, Connecticut Children’s pediatric palliative care education class for nurses, nurses appreciation week, Connecticut Children’s’s Division of Hematology and Oncology Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Celebration, and periodic luncheons with the residents.
Rosie’s 10-year-old sister Autumn and I are currently attending training classes in the hopes that Autumn might also get a chance to see how rewarding pet therapy can be.
Thanks to Ken and Rosie for bringing smiles and joy to Connecticut Children’s!