Wagging tails bring smiles and comfort
Our four-legged team members are true miracles with paws as they visit patients at our hospitals.
Therapy Dog ProgramA wet nose, a warm heart and a silky coat…sometimes there is no more effective medicine than that. Watch the video to see how our therapy dogs make a lasting impact on patients, visitors and hospital associates.
Katherine D., a past patient tells her story:
When I was in a car wreck, the pain was unlike anything I'd ever experienced; I was in complete agony. I was taken to an Ascension Southeast Michigan ER. My husband and co-worker were in the room with me, and I was in terrible pain and could not stop crying. They saw someone in the hall with a Black Lab. I love dogs, so he was brought into my room. Because of my injuries, I couldn't turn my head to look at him. But the instant I put my hand on that dog's head, I smiled for the first time since the wreck. I will never forget that moment—I felt so good and happy. My husband and I have two Labs of our own; if I couldn't have them next to me, this was definitely the next best thing. That dog was only there a few minutes, but I will love him forever. I'm very glad that Ascension Providence realizes how beneficial it is to have dogs available. Thank you.
Man’s best friends bring comfort, smiles and a calming effect as they spend their days visiting patients, greeting visitors and associates, and attending events. Specially trained by Paradise Dog Training, these therapy dogs have extensive socialization skills and are very calm. Our canine colleagues are cared for by volunteer dog handlers, work weekday hours and spend non-working time living with host families as regular dogs.
Donations enable our therapy dogs to be on-site at the hospitals to bring cheer to those they visit; no operational dollars are spent on this program. We are grateful for the individual donations received along with a grant from Consumers Energy Foundation and the complimentary veterinary services and pet supplies that have made this program possible. Among those giving their time, services and goods are: Animal Crackers Pet Salon, Brighton Animal Hospital, Bryce Denison Photography/Midwest Photography Workshops, Fuzzy Friends Grooming, Dr. Michael Hermesmeyer, Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, Paradise Dog Training, Pet Supplies Plus, Plaza Veterinary Hospital, This-n-That for Pets Grooming and Thomson Animal Clinic.
|Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi Campus||
DOC: Black Labrador Retriever, birth date: 7/7/2013
|Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield Campus||
Wilbur: Golden Retriever, birth date: 4/19/2008
Clyde: Chocolate Labrador Retriever, birth date: 7/6/2014
|Ascension St. John Hospital||
Hope: Yellow Labrador Retriever, birth date: 5/23/2009
Paxton: Yellow Labrador Retriever, birth date: 12/14/2015
|Ascension River District Hospital||Murphy: Golden Retriever, birth date: 10/23/2010|
|Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren & Madison Heights||John: Golden Retriever, birth date: 2/28/2017|
|Ascension Brighton Center for Recovery||Chilly: Golden Retriever, birth date: 4/24/2014|
Past Team Members
| Hoover: Black Labrador Retriever; birth date: 2/4/2012; retired Feb. 2019
|Parker: Black Labrador Retriever; birth year: 2006, death year: 2019|
|Lilly: Golden Retriever; birth year: 2011, death year: 2018|