photo: Moose, a giant schnauzer, therapy dog visits patients at Hudson Hospital, including young, Josie Soderbeck. Moose is a regular visitor with owner Jean Lundholm.
As seen in Hudson Star Observer, October 10, 2013 by Margaret Ontl:
The benefits of pet therapy are well documented from the calming influence created by stroking an animal's fur to the recollections brought to mind of patients own animals, it is a proven fact it can be beneficial. A group of nine dog owners, with 14 dogs regularly visit Hudson Hospital patients and staff as part of a long standing Pet Therapy program. Rosa Magnus, volunteer and HR coordinator heads up the program and Emily LaBadie coordinates the visits on the floor.
"It's a wonderful program, said Magnus. "Some of the patients are missing their own dogs from home and it is kind of a break from the typical hospital stay." The dogs range from a petite Pomeranian to a towering Irish Wolfhound. "A typical visit for a therapy dog usually includes spending time in the hallway and 5 to 45 minutes with patients depending on the needs of the patient and the census," Said Magnus. "We have a water bowl and treats for the dogs. They are awesome and each one has a very unique personality."
All of the dogs that participate in the pet therapy program at Hudson Hospital are licensed by Therapy Dogs International. This requires they take a course and pass a test which includes obedience training and exposure to wheel chairs, walkers, crutches and sudden noises such as a bed pan dropping.
"We just have a great group of owners, said Magnus. "They come from all walks of life and they are really dedicated. Usually at least one visits each day."
Volunteers include, Carla Opheium with Buddy, Rick Ottino with Babe and Ceasar, Beth Renstrom with Jeressa, Jerry Zappa with Pilot, Misty and Murphy, Alisha Bjorklund with Jazz, Karla Carlson with Breeze and Flurry, Kris Hiney with Tes and Hitch, Jean Lundholm with Moose and Bob Molenda with Finnegan.
In 2012 pet therapy volunteers logged 105 hours. So far in 2013 they have logged 84 hours.