RMHC of Michiana welcomes first therapy dog to their staff
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana is a place for families of sick children from Beacon Children’s Hospital to come to and find a home away from home. But now, when they enter these comfy quarters, they might notice…Gus!
“I would de scribe him as a 5-year-old boy, he is naughty sometimes, he is super lovey sometimes, loves to play, says Kellie Montgomery, Director of Operations. “He makes a mess sometimes! So, it very resembles a 5-year-old year old boy.”
This furry, loveable 5-year-old boy, however, is more than just a friendly new face to RMHC. Gus is actually…a full-time employee.
“Gus is a therapy animal, so as a therapy animal he provides a sense of comfort and joy and a little moment to forget you are not feeling well,” says Montgomery.
This fall, Gus received his official certification as a therapy dog from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Now, he can visit patients and families staying at RMHC of Michiana to help provide encouragement and relaxation.
“Therapy dog is all about the love, the cuddles, the hugs and kisses,” says Montgomery.
But you can find Gus even beyond the house! He visits the hospitals twice per week, and of course always gets into the holiday spirit when it is an option!
And it is not just the kiddos and families who enjoy the Gus cuddles, he is loved by the entire staff!
“Gus has added tremendous happiness and snuggles to all sorts of staff members and volunteers, and we are so grateful he is here to bring joy for all those who need it the most,” says Kierstin Miller, President and CEO of RMHC of Michiana.
“We deal with some somber things, families that have children in the hospital, they are going through a lot, it is a lot of sadness and worry and Gus is a way for them to forget about that for a while,” says Montgomery.
If you are interested in meeting Gus yourself, consider volunteering. RMHC specifically needs weekend volunteers.
Learn more here.