/ by Susan Lephart
This article was written by Susan Lephart, PhD, animal-assisted therapy coordinator at UK HealthCare.
Take Your Dog to Work Day is celebrated June 25. To mark the occasion, we thought it would be fun to interview one of our amazing UK HealthCare therapy dogs to get a pup’s perspective on their work.
Toby Metcalf, Maggie Metcalf’s 108-pound therapy dog who is half Goldendoodle, half Bernese Mountain Dog — and 100-percent chill — was kind enough to grant our request for an interview.
Toby, what’s it like to work in the hospital with your mom?
It’s the best thing ever! She gets me all groomed up and fancy and I know when she gets my working vest out that it’s time to roll; it’s showtime!
When we weren’t able to go to work because of the pandemic I was so bummed I consoled myself with extra snacks, so now I’m on a diet (sigh). I’m really not fat, just very fluffy.
Anyway, when I come across that pedway to the hospital I feel like a rock star, and I can’t visit people fast enough … although I’m not really built for speed!
What’s your favorite part of coming to the hospital with your mom?
The kids! I love kids. I am so excited to be able to go see them again. Mom puts a sheet down on their bed and I hop right up there and snuggle in. They smell so amazing and are so sweet. I can tell when they are really scared or having a bad day and I try to be extra snuggly and just let them pet me. I really love it when some of them braid my hair while I take a short snooze.
Yeah, as a dog at work, it’s okay to sleep on the job. Isn’t that cool?
What’s your opinion on Take Your Dog to Work day?
Why is it just one day? Heck, if it was up to me, every day would be Take Your Dog to Work Day! We love to be with our people no matter where it is. My mom always says that she’s glad I am so chill, well-trained and easy going because that makes it so much fun to take me lots of places.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
I think it’s so cool that the canine counselors are back to visiting staff and patients again. I love my work and the chance to help people feel better. I can sense when your heart rate and breathing slows when you are petting me and it tells me that I am doing a good job. Thanks to all of the amazing staff who love to see me coming, and I can’t wait to be back visiting more wonderful kids.
Gotta go, I hear mom making some snacks!
For more information on canine counselors and animal-assisted therapy, contact Susan Lephart, PhD, animal-assisted therapy coordinator at 859-323-4325 (HEAL) or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website by clicking here.