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Meet the pups of LCMC Health

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Meet the pups of LCMC Health

They bring smiles with their kisses and wags of their tails. Learn more about the pups of LCMC Health.

We also want to meet your furry friends. Share a selfie of yourself with your pup on March 23 to celebrate National Puppy Day. Tag @LCMCHealth, #NationalPuppyDay

Griffith, 4-month-old service dog in training!​

Griffith is part of Canine Companions. This national non-profit organization was founded in 1975 and gives highly trained service dogs free of charge to people with disabilities.  They serve children and adults alike.  At this point, they’ve place 7,454 service dogs.

Favorites: Griffith loves puppy class at Tulane every Wednesday, and he will do anything for a treat. He also loves his stuffed alligator toy. 

Home away from home: Touro

A day in the life: Griffith starts his day around 5:30 am when his puppy raisers’ alarm goes off.  He gets out of his kennel and has breakfast before going on a 30 min walk around the neighborhood. By 6:45 am it is time to head to Touro Infirmary. At the hospital, he stops to greet each patient or “coworker” he meets. He occasionally douses them with kisses. He then heads to his office on the W4 Rehab unit where therapists, nurses and patients periodically stop by to visit while his puppy raiser sees her patients. Occasionally a Physical or Occupational therapist will take Griffith for a walk with a patient or to the gym to work on reaching. In Speech Therapy sessions, Griffith is able to practice his commands while patients recall his name and practice word finding and clear speech strategies. Sometimes patients even practice feeding Griffith during therapy sessions to help them get back to caring for their own pets once they get discharged from Touro Inpatient Rehab. After a long day of work and walks around Touro, Griffith heads home around 4 pm to rest up and do it all again the next day ​

Little Something Extra: He loves giving kisses to everyone he meets.​

Griffith’s human: ​Maggie Homer​
She’s a Speech Therapist at Touro​

How did Griffith come to be part of the family?​
He flew in from California on a plane all by himself. We picked him up from the airport in December 2022 and apparently, he had spent the day near a baby calf that was also flying! ​

Last year we featured Winston, aka Winnie, a 2-year-old service dog!

Winston, black lab​ Here >>

Where is he now?​ Winston is in a Paws for Change – K9s for warrior's prison program that works in conjunction with the Montgomery corrections facility in Jacksonville, Florida. He is paired with a prisoner who is furthering his training to help a US Veteran suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain injury, or other form of trauma. 

When does he complete his training? ​He will complete the program in late spring 2023. We are so proud that Winston continues to train toward his ultimate goal of becoming a service dog for one of our veterans.​

Former handler: Maggie Homer, Speech Therapist at Touro​
She had a prior patient who wanted to bring their service dog in training to the rehab unit while they recovered from a stroke. When the puppy arrived, it changed the dynamic on the rehab unit and made both staff and patients smile more. Maggie and a coworker decided to puppy raise on the rehab unit in Spring 2019. Touro, the first puppy she raised at Touro Inpatient Rehab, graduated and was placed with his Veteran in March of 2021. The whole rehab unit and hospital was so proud of him and glad to be able to give back to a Veteran. Hopefully, Winston will be able to follow in his paw prints. 

Favorites: peanut butter​

Home away from home: Touro​

Little Something Extra: Giving all the patients kisses even when they don’t necessarily want them.​

How did Winston come to be part of the family?​
They decided they were ready to raise again once they knew Touro, their first puppy in training, had passed. They got to hold two 6-week-old pups and picked out our sweet boy, Winston.​

Last year we featured Thor, ​a 10-year-old therapy dog!

Where is he now?​ Thor is almost 11 years old now and still going strong! This is his fifth year as West Jefferson Medical Center’s “Thorapy” dog and more people know his name than mine, but I’ve only been here for 30 years! On Tuesdays and Fridays, he visits up to twenty different areas and all 8 floors at West Jefferson. When I take my breaks, he sleeps under my desk so I can do my real work! ​

Favorites: pork skins, white cheese puffs​

Home away from home: West Jefferson Medical Center​

A day in the life: At West Jefferson Medical Center, he visits patients in the Cancer Center and Rehab, then Thor makes his rounds on the various nursing departments for emotional support, not only just for patients, but his healthcare friends, as well. When Thor is not at West Jefferson, he’s on guard duty at home. He's been a therapy dog for four years.​

Little Something Extra: He loves the pool and will only play fetch with his special Nemo toy and ignores everything else. ​

Thor’s humanPam Helmstetter​
She’s a perinatal educator for the Family Birthplace since 1991. Thor is her third therapy dog.​

How did Thor come to be part of the family?​ A friend's dog had yellow lab/golden retriever puppies. The rest is history.​

Sherlock, a therapy and R.E.A.D. certified dog!

Age: 8-year-old, Goldendoodle

Favorites: His favorite things are visiting all his friends (old and new), doggie treats of any kind, and stuffed animal squeaky toys!

Home away from home: He is a member of the St. Tammany chapter of Love on a Leash, and he is one of twenty-six therapy dog teams in the chapter. He visits different facilities almost every day, on both the north and south shore. His home away from home is Lakeview Regional Medical Center.

Little something extra: In addition to being a therapy dog, he also serves as a R.E.A.D. certified dog, which allows him to go to libraries so that young children can read to him. R.E.A.D stands for Reading Education Assistance Dog. R.E.A.D. is a nationwide program headquartered in Salt Lake City Utah. He is much loved and returns that love all the time!

Sherlock's human: Rob Foley

How did Sherlock come to be a part of the family?

He was born in Flatrock, Illinois and was flown down from O'Hare Airport in Chicago to Armstrong International Airport at the age of seven weeks, a strapping twelve pounder! He was acquired on the advice of a counselor who recommended him for our youngest daughter, who was dealing with some anxiety issues in high school. He did the trick, she graduated from high school as a National Merit Finalist and four years later, she graduated from the Honors College at the University of Notre Dame.

Visiting Pet Program

The only animal-assisted activity/therapy program in the Greater New Orleans Area.

Home away from home: Children’s Hospital New Orleans

A day in the life: Visiting patients Mondays at 6pm for about 1 – 1 ½ hours. These furry volunteers know how to make our patients and team members feel extra love.