Meet OLP Therapy Dog Otto


Our Lady of Peace (OLP) is pleased to welcome Otto and his mom, Therese Pautz as one of our new therapy dog teams. Otto is a small münsterländer, a German dog bred for hunting upland birds like pheasants and grouse. Therese has a special leash for Otto, designated only for OLP. “Otto knows equipment because he’s a hunting dog, so when I bring that leash out, he knows where we’re going, and he gets extremely excited!” 

OLP therapy dog Bailey and his mom Mary brought Otto and Therese to OLP, and we are grateful. Mary said, “Otto has a similar temperament to Bailey and would be a good fit for hospice,” Theresa explains. “My kids are through college, I work from home in my own business, and I live close to OLP. The stars aligned, and we decided to do it.” 

Therese is also familiar with patient care, as she put herself through college and law school, working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Otto is familiar with it too because he also volunteers in a memory care unit. Theresa says Otto knows the difference between memory care and hospice care. “He has different energy with hospice patients. He walks more gently into a hospice room and is more focused. On one of our visits, a patient made a sound, and he went on point, as hunting dogs do, and he stared at her, like when he sees a bird. It was instinctive, but he knew the difference. Otto knows when to be still, when to give love, and when to lay at the foot of the bed.

Therese says Otto is intuitive, so he doesn’t always walk towards the bed right away. He goes to the patient’s family. “We were visiting a patient whose husband of over 60 years was sitting at her bedside,” Therese says. “Otto knew the husband needed love at that moment, so he went to him first and gave him lots of kisses. When I asked the man if he wanted Otto to stop, he said no.” 

“Otto and I love it, and we love the staff,” Therese says joyfully. “I can’t say enough good things about OLP. Otto was out for a couple of weeks due to surgery, and when he recovered, he seemed extra excited to visit patients and his friends on staff.”

Thank you, Therese and Otto. We appreciate you!