Raising Your Paws - Your Pet Parent Resource

A Dog With A Very Unusual Job Description (Blog #64)

Published: 04/07/2020
Anna and Rocket
NutriSource Pet foods, the company that presents the Raising Your Paws podcast, financially helped the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital add a new full time employee to their staff – a full time facility dog named Rocket. He arrived from Georgia in November, 2019 after being specially trained to help sick children and their families deal with the medical experiences they were all going through at the hospital. In addition to seeing a video about Rocket below, you can now also hear all about what Rocket is like and hear the remarkable stories of how he just seems to know exactly who really needs the kind of comfort only a canine can provide. That’s because on the show this week and in the next episode airing on April 21, I spoke to Rocket’s human partner and handler, Anna Dressel, a child life specialist who works with Rocket full time. In part one of our conversation, she will tell you all about him, the comical gesture Rocket show’s when he is comfortable with nurses, what’s its like to work and live 24 hours a day with this animal and describes a typical day in their life at the hospital helping people. Rocket’s skills extend way past what typical therapy dogs do. Make sure you tune in next time to episode 65 as well, to hear the truly incredible stories of when Rocket, himself without any prompting from Anna, approached two particular people who desperately needed his soft and kind attention.
The video of Rocket taken at the M Health Masonic Children’s Hospital.

We were lucky to score some additional photos from Anna Dressel’s own files…

The other video of a Golden Retriever getting a lot of attention by helping neighbors maintain distance during the pandemic, stay-at-home order.