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Therapy dogs get warm welcome back at Tucson Medical Center

"People therapy" comes after dogs' medical issues
Nurses gather to pet Splash, who is now permanently blind.
Posted at 10:02 AM, Aug 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-28 14:27:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Two golden retriever therapy dogs got their own dose of therapy at Tucson Medical Center.

Cody and Splash returned to greet loving healthcare workers and patients on Friday, after the dogs face their own medical issues.

Cody had a cancerous tumor removed last month and is still recovering, but is on track to return to his usual visits at TMC. He has been a therapy dog for five years.

“Cody has a sense about him,” said his owner Sharon Selvy, a retired teacher. “He knows who needs him when he walks into a room. And of course he loves people.”

That makes the attention and love from the people at TMC—the so-called ‘people therapy’—that much better.

“It means a lot to me, and it means a lot to him too, I know,” Selvy said.

It was the last day on the job for Splash, who is now completely blind. He got a sweet sendoff after a long career of care—with more than 400 visits across the state over the past decade.

“Today’s really his retirement party, I guess you could say,” said Sharon Raymond, Splash’s owner and also a retired teacher. “It’s been great. Everybody here at the hospital is always amazing. Always really happy to see us.”

Tucson Medical Center is looking for more volunteers with certified therapy dogs. People can learn more on the TMC’s website.

“They always need more dogs,” said Mary Gokey, an 11-year volunteer at TMC. “They could have dogs here seven days a week, and it wouldn’t be enough.”