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URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / October 2021 / Our Therapy Dogs Show Us Their Best with Fifth Annual Wall Calendar Fundraiser

Our Therapy Dogs Show Us Their Best with Fifth Annual Wall Calendar Fundraiser

Our ever-popular Pet Therapy Dog wall calendar—2022 edition—is now available at the Friends of Strong Gift Shop. Featuring our ever-growing pack of 19 "celebrity" pups who provide uplifting comfort and engagement to patients of all ages, this adorable calendar benefits patient- and family-centered care initiatives throughout Strong Memorial Hospital.

The front cover of the 2022 Pet Therapy Dog Calendar features a beautiful photo of Lady, a Shih-Poo rescue turned cover girl smiling in a bed of red and white begonias.
A Cute Addition to Your Home or Office

These cute calendars make a great gift for animal-lovers of all ages and are available for just $9.99 at the Friends of Strong Gift Shop located on the first floor of Golisano Children's Hospital or online for delivery to patient rooms. ​

Can’t make it to the Gift Shop? Call (585) 275-2420 to order a copy shipped anywhere in the contiguous U.S. (a $4.99 shipping and handling fee applies).

With this fifth edition, our Pet Therapy calendar fundraiser continues a fun and adorable annual tradition. "Last year's calendar again sold out in record time, and we anticipate with pretty much all of us ready to welcome a new year, our newest calendar will be a much-appreciated way for those who buy or receive one as a gift to welcome the new year," says Luanne Crosby, Friends of Strong Gift Shop Manager.

Twenty two years, 65 dogs and countless tail wags later, the ever-popular program today consists of nearly two dozen certified pet therapy dogs, together with their handlers, bringing joy and happiness to our patients, their families and our staff.

As a Registered Nurse and Chief Nursing Executive of Strong Memorial Hospital, Karen Keady knows well the positive impact of our pet therapy program. “The interactions our patients and staff share with our pet therapy dogs are remarkably impactful experiences,” Karen says. “My time visiting with the shelties during our touch-less pet therapy sessions are one of my happiest memories during the pandemic. I was amazed at how simply sitting with these gorgeous, calm, kind dogs—not even petting them—changed my entire mood. The whole rest of the day I was walking on cloud nine.”

In normal times, these popular pups would provide a sense of comfort for ruff-ly 65 patients in any given week—easily more than 60,000 visits throughout the years. However, as the pandemic continues to wax and wane, many of our volunteer services remain largely “on paws,” including our pet therapy program.

Fortunately, thanks to the successes and unparalleled hard work of our health care staff, we’ve been able to welcome back these popular pups for a few meaningful staff visits, and we eagerly anticipate the day when patient visits can again be offered.

“What a privilege it is to have this service available for our patients, families and staff,” Karen adds. “In stressful times like this, it is so important to offer a variety of options to help staff cope with the daily challenges we all face. I hope the therapy dogs and their parents know what an amazing comfort they are to so many. I honestly believe pet therapy is magical.”

Our pet therapy program is just one of the many ways we at Friends of Strong seek to give back to the hospital and foster exceptional care for everyone. From complimentary safe-sleep swaddles for every baby born at Strong, to Palliative Care Program funding, this past year we were able to provide financial assistance and ongoing support for many patient-centered initiatives and programs throughout the hospital.



Matt Ulakovic | 10/18/2021

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