Dogs for kids | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Dogs for kids

Meet the dogs who provide therapy services to children in the hospital.

Think the children’s hospital just employs humans? Think again. In addition to a team of talented doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who take care of children, we have a pack of pooches committed to helping patients and their families during their time with us. In honor of National Dog Day, meet some of our four-legged rock stars who visit children and their families:

Cocker spaniel/poodle
Age: 10; therapy dog for 8 years
Fun facts: Buddy’s favorite toy is a stuffed bear he sleeps with every night. He also is an agility champion.
Toy Maltese
Age: 9
Therapy dog for 8 years at the children’s hospital, schools and nursing homes
Fun fact: Cutip comes to the hospital dressed in seasonal outfits.
Lab mix
Age: 8; therapy dog for 1 year
Fun facts: Dale’s favorite toys are a squeaky squirrel and a peanut butter-stuffed Kong. He loves visiting the lake and fetching sticks in the water.
Labrador retriever
Age: 5; she just started as a therapy dog
Fun facts: Heidi’s favorite toy is a knotted rope with a tennis ball. She has a very keen sense of smell and did search-and-rescue training.
Flat coat retriever
Age: 9; therapy dog for 4 years
Fun facts: Juan loves McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cones and gets one after each therapy visit. His best friend is a fat kitty named Isabella.
Alaskan malamute
Age: almost 2; he just passed his therapy dog certification
Fun facts: Major’s favorite toy is a squeaky Kong named Wubba. Major loves to “talk” to visitors! He is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen.
Golden retriever
Age: 3; therapy dog for 2 years
Fun facts: Mercy is one of a nationwide group of golden retrievers specially trained to interact with people and is certified as a comfort dog.  She works with people in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, libraries and even deploys in response to disasters. Her favorite toy is a peanut butter-filled Kong. She has her own Facebook page.
Golden retriever
Age: 11; therapy dog for more than 10 years
Fun facts: Oliver’s favorite toy is his brown bear that he loves to carry around and cuddle with when he is taking a nap. He was initially trained at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women to be an assistance dog through Paws With Purpose. He became a comfort dog at age 2. He has made many visits at schools to help teach students about disabilities and how a service dog can make a difference. He has recently had some health issues and will be retiring from therapy this year.
Golden retriever/Labrador mix
Age: 5; therapy dog for 2 years
Fun facts: Waylon came from a shelter and had a few homes before finding his forever family. He is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen and is a member of the American Red Cross pet therapy team. His favorite toys include Nylabones and tug toys. He has learned to read and follow commands on flash cards.
Age: 5; therapy dog for 4.5 years
Fun facts: Ziggy is a puppy mill rescue. His favorite toy is a stuffed chicken pox-shaped toy his human originally received as a gift. Ziggy adopted the germ-animal and carries it through the house, cleans it and cares for it like a puppy. He and his handler serve as members of the Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board Canine Compassion Strike Team, responding to local and state disasters. He also is a nationally certified crisis response canine (a working dog) and can respond both locally and nationally. When not working, Ziggy loves to hike and explore the outdoors. He also enjoys a good nap and playing with his dog and human friends. His laid-back personality makes him an easy friend.

Pet therapy is available at all Norton Healthcare hospitals and some outpatient facilities. See our dogs that help out at our adult-service facilities. To learn more about pet therapy, contact one of these certified pet therapy training organizations that have our paw of approval:

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