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|These adorable pooches, Skeeter and Snickers, volunteer at Sharp Memorial Hospital.|
Skeeter and Snickers
Skeeter and Snickers, owned and loved by Sharp employees Tammee and Dan, are adorable, well-trained Pomeranians who bring a lot of joy to the patients they visit. Though small, these 6-year-old brothers have a big presence in the hospital and bring smiles to the faces of everyone they encounter.
Rambunctious as puppies, the dynamic duo have grown into wonderful representations of their breed and are great therapy dogs. Skeeter has been volunteering since 2008 and has received numerous pet therapy awards for his work in hospitals. Not to be outdone by his littermate, Snickers was certified as a therapy dog in 2009.
|Missy loves being a pet therapist.|
Missy is a 10-year-old Maltese who has been a therapy dog for four years. You will see her making rounds at Sharp Memorial Hospital on Mondays and Fridays with her owner, Jim, who trained with her for a year so they could become partners in therapy. Jim calls Missy an “emotional therapist” who hands out photos, autographed with a paw print, to patients she visits.
“This little mutt loves people and adores coming to work,” Jim said. “She also loves to steal hospital socks. I’ve caught her a few times trying to leave with one in her mouth.”
To be a hospital therapy dog, each volunteer must meet a number of requirements to ensure the dogs are healthy and well trained. They must first be certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a “Canine Good Citizen,” then be evaluated by a therapy dog organization such as Therapy Dogs Inc.
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