Therapy dog visits North Star Lodge…

North Star Lodge Cancer Center welcomes a very different kind of volunteer this week.  It is Tootie, a Shiba Inu, one of the world’s most ancient dog breeds. Tootie is a registered therapy dog and has recently been approved by the medical staff to bring cheer and comfort to our patients each week.  Tootie is now writing a blog aptly named, “The Tootie Tidings.”  Join her each week as she shares stories and pictures of her encounters.

tootsie-michelle

You are so beautiful Tootie, what kind of breed are you?

Hello! I am a Shiba Inu, one of the world’s most ancient dog breeds. I am from Japan and am a cousin to the Akita. I am known for my beauty, intelligence and independence. I look like a fox!

 

Who is your owner and trainer? 

I own and train my human, Michelle Hacker. She does exactly what I want for the most part.

 

What does a therapy dog do?

As I therapy dog, I provide comfort to those in need by putting a smile on their face with my cute face and tail wags. I never crowd a patient or act ridiculous, I am very polite, clean and quiet.

 

Do you need to have special training?

I do! I am a show dog! I was taught by my human mom, Michelle, to “stack” and stand very still when petted, which is invaluable when I make my rounds at the clinic. It’s important for me to not even move a muscle when tired hands are trying to pet my soft, thick fur.

 

Why did you decide to become a therapy dog?

As I’ve gotten older, I realized there’s more to life than just prancing around a ring looking swell for the judges. I want to give back to my human friends and make them feel better when they are down. Besides, I really like being the center of attention and there are only so many dog shows….

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