Help us welcome the newest member of our Volunteer Team here at Harbor Hospice, Ivy, our Hospice Therapy Dog. She is a beautiful and loving Black Lab/Staffordshire Terrier mix.
Her owner, Bob Timmerman, has been volunteering with us for a year and recently completed Therapy Dog Training with Ivy so that she is now able to provide visits to our patients. Bob found Ivy at Pound Buddies in Muskegon where she participated in a program that paired up young, incarcerated offenders with dogs. She has been a part of Bob’s family for almost two years. She has a great attitude and assumes that everyone loves her.
Ivy began her hospice career in Florida where Bob spends the cold, winter months. The Harbor Hospice family is so glad she will be visiting our patients while in Michigan.
Our patients that are dog lovers will enjoy having Ivy stop by for a visit. There is something very warm and soothing about touching that soft fur and looking deep into those cute eyes. The presence of a furry friend can help a patient feel safer, more secure, and they provide love and acceptance to someone who may be struggling emotionally or mentally.
A visit from Ivy (or Toby) may bring back very fond memories of their own dogs. A dog greets everyone without judgement. A dog doesn’t care if you’re young or old. A dog doesn’t mind if you’re wearing pajamas and resting in bed. A dog is happy to visit, even if a confused person pets her head and remarks, “nice kitty.”
According to Paws for People, having a visit from a Therapy Dog can:
- Decrease isolation and depression
- Increase calmness
- Provide comfort
- Reduce boredom
- Lower anxiety and decreased agitation
- Reduce loneliness
- Diminish overall physical pain
About Ivy’s owner
Bob Timmerman, a local Harbor Hospice Volunteer since 2017.
Harbor Hospice serving the West Michigan lake shore. The agency has provided hospice care and support programs to residents in a five-county area for over 35 years.