Bosco the Animal Assisted Therapy Dog

Please Note: The dog in the accompanying photograph is the subject of the story, but any persons shown are probably not those in the story.

Photograph of Bosco dog

A Special Moment: Each one of us enjoys special moments while visiting patients as we bring them a ray of sunshine into their gloomy days in a hospital room. I was asked to perform a special visit with a young woman in the LA County General Hospital. The doctor met me at the front door and briefed me about the situation. This young woman in her early 30’s was hospitalized for nearly a month with terminal cancer. She was going to be discharged for the weekend so she could celebrate her birthday with her loved ones. Unfortunately, her conditioned worsened and she was not permitted to leave the hospital.

The staff decorated her room and brought a birthday cake. They felt that a therapy dog would cheer her up as a special treat. When I brought my dog into the room, her eyes lit up with a big smile on her face and immediately she sat in her bed, hooked up to number of tubes and wires, but was so happy to pet Bosco. The more she connected with him, the more love he returned to her. We spent nearly a half hour with the patient. And after I left the room, the doctor told me that this was her last birthday and she will not last the year.

Two weeks later I was asked to return. This time, she was unhooked from the medical equipment and was accompanied by her doctor and nurse and together they strolled around the hospital grounds for about 20 minutes. Again at the end of the visit, the doctor informed me that since the last visit her condition improved so much that she is scheduled to be discharged and go back to her family.

Our therapy dogs are performing miracles with patients as they brighten their day on their way to recover from their ailments.