Meet OLP Therapy Dog Princess


Our Lady of Peace (OLP) is pleased to introduce you to our new therapy dog, Princess, a gentle standard blue poodle who loves visiting patients in our residential hospice. The dog’s mom, Caileen Yost says that when she yells up the stairs, “Let’s go visit the hospice,” Princess excitedly runs down the steps and towards the door.

On a recent visit, Princess went nose to nose with Betty Mitchell in her room at our residential hospice, sparking fond memories of her beloved schnauzer, Fritz. Princess’ presence brought a smile to Betty’s face, as she told Caileen that OLP is her final destination. 

“Princess knows what’s happening, as soon as she walks into a hospice room,” Caileen explains. “She is perceptive, and can offer love, while also being respectful.” With a degree in social work from St. Thomas, a graduate certificate in aging studies, and experience volunteering with elderly people, Caileen knows how to read a room, and she turns to family members to approve a visit from Princess before moving to a patient’s bed. “I’ve seen people cry when they see the interaction between Princess and their loved one because it sparks happy memories.”

Caileen describes Princess as a chalkboard, with patients holding the chalk. “People can tell stories or point out traits and behaviors that are similar to a dog they loved,” she says.

“Sometimes we end up singing a familiar children’s song together because Princess spurs a childhood memory. A person once cried on a visit because Princess reminded them of how good their father was with dogs.” 

Pet therapy makes days brighter for patients and families, and OLP is grateful to Caileen and Princess for volunteering to bring the sunshine. “It’s beautiful to see the Lord’s work being done at OLP, and it gives me joy to give joy to people who are in a stage of life that I’ll be in someday,” Caileen says. “It’s lovely to bring a smile and make the end of life more pleasant for people.” 

Thank you, Caileen and Princess. We appreciate you!