BOSTON (WHDH) - A dedicated 20-month-old pup is making a major difference at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton.
Marcus the black Labrador Retriever received a warm welcome Wednesday afternoon after being hired as the hospital’s first full-time therapy dog.
“The kids knew he was coming and they were thrilled to visit him,” said Aimee Lyons, the chief operating officer at Franciscan Children’s Hospital. “There’s not enough of Marcus to go around.”
Nurse Julie Jankun feels having this pup around the hospital will make a big difference.
“Families absolutely love him,” she said. “They think it’s the best thing in the world and just having their child exposed while in the hospital to dogs, the kids just adore him.”
Among those on hand to welcome Marcus was Boston Marathon bombing survivor Patrick Downes. He and his wife Jessica Kensky wrote a book about their experiences with their own therapy dog, Rescue.
“They’re gonna get a lot of love, a lot of kisses whether they’re looking for it or not,” Downes said based on his personal experience. “They’ll also clean up the Goldfish that’s left on the ground. If you leave any food on the ground, Marcus will find it.”
The therapy dog went through intensive training as part of the NEADS service dog program, which has local inmates train pups to work with children with disabilities, veterans and others.
“They go through two years of rigorous training and by the time they get to you they’ve gone through like Harvard School of dog training,” Downes explained.
Marcus will be making rounds Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., brightening the day of patients and employees.
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