Rescued Pit Bull Becomes Hospital Ambassador
I love service and companion dogs, they are such true heros and really exemplify so much that is just wonderful about dogs and I especially love ‘good dog’ stories about pitties! Pit bull breed dogs are so maligned that it’s really special to see them portrayed lovingly. They can be such wonderful dogs and I think it’s really important for people to see them in a more positive light.
So here’s a wonderful story for dog lovers, pittie lovers and those who only see the pit bull breeds as mean, vicious dogs! 😀 Enjoy!
Jill Logan’s hearty affection for pooches and people speaks through the wet, sloppy kisses that Gypsy â€” her red-nose American pit bull terrier â€” lavishes on perfect strangers.
Every Friday for three years, the chocolate-colored canine has been her sweet-natured ambassador at the St. Lucie Surgery Center in Port St. Lucie.
Here, Logan is the administrator. Gypsy’s photo ID badge reads: “Pup-Lick Relations.”
The friendly dog chases away worries for children awaiting a tonsillectomy and fears from adults needing hernia repairs or a routine colonoscopy.
A wag of her tail or a stroke of her coat is also good medicine for family and friends as they nervously watch the clock over a loved one.
“When people come in, they are very stressed,” says Logan, 57, of Palm City. “They’re scared. They’re nervous about their surgery. Although we try to make the lobby homey, it’s still a sterile environment.
“But Gypsy takes their mind off their fears for a little while. She just really helps to relax people.”
After making her rounds, Gypsy retreats to Logan’s office, where her efforts are rewarded with a comfy doggie bed, chew toys and food and drink. A cookie jar shaped like a fire hydrant holds her favorite treats.
But this dog’s life wasn’t always so grand.
Three years ago, she was scared, hungry and homeless. Logan was leaving work one night when she spotted a little critter on the loose in the parking lot. To her surprise, the 6-month-old pup scampered right up to her.
No one claimed her after Logan ran a classified ad or recognized her photograph in nearby neighborhoods. Rather than abandon her at the local animal shelter, Logan and her husband decided to adopt the pooch, whose kind has a bad name.
“Pit bulls have such a horrible reputation, but they are really wonderful dogs,” Logan says. “I did a lot of research and found their temperament is almost on the same level as a golden retriever.”
Because she was a stray, the dog was christened Gypsy. She was people-friendly, calm and not prone to barking. So it was an easy decision one Friday when Logan, having no one at home to watch Gypsy, brought her new pet to work.
“From the time she first got here, she just acted like she belonged here,” Logan says.
Gypsy soon won the hearts of staffers and doctors. When patients saw her in the receptionist’s cubicle, they begged to touch her, and the allure of the little dog spread through the waiting room.
Today, Gypsy is a state-certified doggie volunteer. She has an official ID badge and personnel file with a clean bill of health, vaccinations and obedience training. Her mug shot appears on the surgery center’s Web site as a pet therapy dog.
Recently, Bill Meuser and family members met Gypsy while his wife, Gloria, had a cancerous growth removed from her foot. The pooch was immediately attracted to his granddaughter’s boyfriend and mopped his face with sloppy kisses.
Suddenly, the quiet, somber room erupted into laughter.
“The pit bull doesn’t have a reputation for making people feel at ease,” says Meuser, 79, of Port St. Lucie. “But you couldn’t ask for a nicer dog.”
With a grin, he adds, “I don’t think my granddaughter is ever going to kiss her boyfriend again.”
Meuser’s daughter, Broward resident Jennifer Norman, patted the dog with approval.
“I think it’s super,” she said. “I’ve never heard anything negative from animals being involved in helping people through difficult times. I think it’s good therapy.” (Palm Beach Post)
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