Tilly, a big shaggy black Newfoundland dog, ambles into Sutter Roseville Medical Center by the side of her owner and handler, Sherri Smith. The two are visiting patients in the medical center to bring some comfort and happiness to an otherwise routine medical stay.
The program is a new service within Sutter Roseville Medical Center’s Auxiliary Volunteer Services. Tilly and Sherri became members of the hospital Auxiliary in order to participate in the pet therapy program.
Five year old Tilly, who is friendly and calm, fits the criteria for a therapy dog as she does very well in strange settings. Even so, she had to undergo training to be a therapy dog and afterward had to pass a test for certification.
Tilly began visiting patients three years ago at Ohio State University Medical Center where she was the first dog to visit patients in the medical center’s burn unit.