Put your paws together for Chuck, Josie, Bailey, Bonnie, and Bubba, the canine crew that can light up a room in an instant and bring love to hospice patients at Our Lady of Peace.
Chuck was timid when first rescued by his dad, Mike, but is she’s now a very outgoing pup. She’s a female Jack Russel/terrier mix. Her name is Chuck because Mike says it’s the only name she would respond to when he adopted her. When on the job, Chuck lays on patient laps and snuggles with them in their beds. And, in her off time, she likes to dance, especially when she’s out to impress our hospice nurses.
Valentine’s Day is Chuck’s favorite day of the year because there’s even more love in the air, especially when she comes to visit!
Josie is a rescued Landseer Newfoundland who loves the cold but has a warm heart and the power to provide comfort in sadness. One time, the spouse of a patient in our care was so distraught that she didn’t talk to anyone, but when Josie came into the room and loved her up, she said, “You know I’m sad, don’t you.” That’s the healing power of Josie.
Bailey is a Goldendoodle with soft, silky coat, an incredibly sweet personality, and a love for all people. At 70 lbs., he’s a big boy who shows affection by leaning in to snuggle. Described by his mom, Mary, “Bailey is an affectionate distraction with the ability to take people somewhere else, for a while.”
Bailey roams all floors of Our Lady of Peace in search of someone who needs a little TLC, and he senses when patients and families need the kind of love he can bring to a sad situation. One day, he planted himself in the doorway of a room and refused to leave until he was invited in. Mary recalls the moment the invitation was given by a family who’s loved one had just passed. Once inside, Bailey proceeded to go around the room to show his respects to all who were gathered there.
Bonnie is an Australian Cattle Dog. Bred to herd, but without much interest in doing it, she found her true calling at Our Lady of Peace. Instead of being laser focused on herding cows, she zooms in on patient love and companionship.
If you glance at Bonnie, be ready to welcome her into your arms. And, if someone invites her into a room of grieving people, she will touch base with every one of them, with affection.
Like Josie, Bonnie has the power to turn a frown upside down, even in the saddest of situations. Bonnie’s Mom, Gretchen, remembers a patient who was having a tough time and one of the sisters of Our Lady of Peace was trying to calm him down and get him to stay in his bed. Bonnie walked through the door and the gentleman invited her up onto the bed. With a kiss and a cuddle, they became fast friends, and after days of agitation, he mellowed, and told Bonnie he loved her.
Bubba is a French Bulldog. In addition to volunteering at Our Lady of Peace, he is an author. His books carry a message of kindness, compassion, and coming to the rescue of those in need. His hospice friends find his writing encouraging and reassuring, as they pet him and stroke his ears, while Bubba’s Dad, Jerry, reads the books to them. Jerry has volunteered his time at Our Lady of Peace for over 20-years.
Bubba has become a bit of a celebrity to our staff that enjoys following him on Facebook, and hearing about his adventures in California, where he spends time in the winter.
Our Lady of Peace patients, families, and staff continue to be blessed by the unconditional love of our furry volunteers, and their devoted dog parents provide patients along their end of life journey. The care team at Our Lady of Peace has witnessed these therapy dogs bringing comfort and joy to patients and families, helping reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Thank you to Chuck, Mike, Josie, Don, Bailey, Mary, Bonnie, Gretchen, Bubba and Jerry for the important work you do at Our Lady of Peace. You are a blessing to us all.