Dogs are hardworking creatures.
For centuries, dogs have been known to assist people in their everyday living. Apart from doing physical tasks, dogs are now taking the role of therapists as it was discovered that they could help maintain man’s mental health in top shape.
One individual has made a promise that her next dog would make a difference.
Judith Bonifaci, an elementary school teacher and a Board of Trustees’ member of Seattle Children’s Guild, has lost her Golden Retriever who has been her companion for years. A friend has suggested that she should get another dog to help her in recovering from the loss. Judith liked the idea, but this time she wanted her next dog would have a purpose. She wants to pay forward all the love that her previous dog brought into her life.
Judith started to find the pup to become a therapy dog. She wanted to have another Golden Retriever since the breed has been friendly, intelligent, trainable, calm, and gentle. When she found Abe, she knew he is the perfect dog for her.
After bringing him home, Judith enrolled Abe in a training school. During the training, Abe showed his best behavior. He was able to do all the commands immediately. He was a comfortable dog to train.
In 14 months, Abe is the youngest dog to pass the training!
Judith has brought Abe to school to be a classroom dog. When he turned two years old, Judith has decided to make Abe a therapy dog in the hospital.
It was easy to train Abe to become the canine hospital ambassador at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Abe was able to adapt to the hospital setting immediately. There were times that Abe would lead Judith to a particular hospital room, even if it is not included in their hospital visits. Abe can sense that his presence is needed in that room.
For 11 years, Abe has faithfully done his duties as a therapy dog at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He has brought smiles to the whole hospital community.
However, he needs to slow down now.
Abe, now 13 years old, has developed spine and throat problems. The two-hour hospital visits became very tiring for him. Judith has decided to let Abe retire from doing therapy work and enjoy the rest of his senior years at home.
Thank you, Abe, for your dedication to helping children in the hospital!
Photo courtesy of PetSmart Charities via Facebook