Frankie — Therapy

Charity Partner: Attitudes in Reverse
Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey

Frankie became a therapy dog after a humble beginning as a stray and then in a high kill shelter in North Carolina. I adopted Frankie in 2011. He had such a calm, laid back, affectionate personality, I knew he’d be a great therapy dog. We trained through Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs and began our work with several hospitals. We worked at the Cancer Institute of NJ bringing smiles to patients undergoing infusion therapy, Princeton House where we brightened the day of patients in rehab, RWJU Hospital and Princeton Plainsboro Hospital. Patients were excited and happy to spend some time with Frankie, petting him, giving belly rubs, and often talking about their own pets at home, waiting for them to return. Frankie would give patients a high five and this always brought a laugh and smile to the patients. The staff and nurses were always happy to get a visit from a therapy dog. As the nurses would say, “We need our therapy, too.”

Recently, Frankie has developed arthritis and walking all the halls of the facilities has become more difficult for him. We now volunteer with AIR dogs. This organization works with schools and young adults to foster good mental health and suicide prevention. The teams also visit college campuses to help students de-stress during stressful times, such as exam week. The therapy dog teams also visit schools where there has been a suicide bringing comfort to students and faculty alike. Frankie enjoys his new job, still bring joy to others.