DENVER – Smiles and laughter are contagious, and it’s hard not to do at least one of those when there is a friendly dog around.
So, it should come as no surprise that therapy dogs are some of the most popular hospital visitors.
For seven years, Eric Hoff and his dog, Remy, have walked the halls of Denver Health spreading cheer as members of the Pet Therapy team.
It’s a big change for Remy from when he was a puppy.
“He was severely abused when I got him,” Hoff said. “It took a lot of work with him to get him to the point where he is today.”
Hoff says that once Remy got over his fear of people, he started reacting to them in good ways. In fact, he seemed to want to meet kids — something he continues to do today.
“He will pick out a child that seems to need a little more attention than others, and he will spend most of his time with that child,” Hoff said. “Other kids will come over and visit with them, but he'll kind of hang out and stay there with them.”
Volunteer coordinator Liz Matthews says on Hoff and Remy have volunteered more than 1,600 hours over the years. On days they’re not there, she says she gets lots of questions.
“Everybody wants to know where Remy is because he just he's made a name for himself,” she said. “They bring a kind of joy that, you know, not every volunteer can bring.”
Anyone interested in volunteering at Denver Health can visit the volunteer section of their website.
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