Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

Therapy Dogs—Giving Joy Virtually

Mollie, a superhero therapy dog who works with the author's pet therapy team. Copyright by the author.


In this time of waiting, many therapy dog programs share love and gratitude virtually—sending silly pictures, sweet thoughts, and getting ready for the day when they can visit in person once again.

During the pandemic, we’re not able to bring our therapy dogs to visit patients. So we’ve been emailing photos of our endearing dogs to hospital staff to lift their spirits during this challenging time.


After emailing some photos out, I found email gifts waiting for me in my Inbox:


“Thank you so much for sending the therapy dog photos. With all that is going on you have no idea how much this was needed.”


“Thanks so much! This really made my day!”


Our therapy dog program, like so many other visit programs across the country, are visiting virtually these days, sending photos and good wishes to the beloved healthcare workers that we’ve grown close to while visiting over the years.


While our teams wait for the coast to clear, we’re all spending our time productively. One teammate is making superhero costumes for Mollie the lab. Another is sewing masks for healthcare workers, her goldendoodle at her feet under the sewing machine. Some teammates are busy training new pups who will join the program in the fall: Brooks the Chesapeake Bay retriever (eight months old), Phoebe the American mastiff (six months old), Ozzie the golden (one year old), and Ruby Tuesday, the goldendoodle. Fiona, a cream-colored retriever, continues her training as she awaits re-uniting with her beloved pediatric unit for visits. Golden retrievers Stella and Cosmo can’t keep away from swimming pools and ponds. Dalmatians Josephine and Olive take long, long walks every day, but something tells us they miss their hospital visits.


In this time of waiting, each and every therapy dog team carries love and gratitude in their hearts for the caregivers working tirelessly at the hospital they know well—sending silly pictures, sweet thoughts, and getting ready for the day when we can visit in person once again.