There was a Batman. A Nemo and a Dory. A Woody from Toy Story. An old lady with curlers and many more costumes, costumes on dogs. Therapy dogs.
The 3rd annual Halloween Pet Parade at Sharp Grossmont Hospital was a testament to the power of the pooch because these dressed up dogs paraded through the cancer treatment center, immediately uplifting the spirits of the patients.
“When they come around, they put a boom in everyone’s heart, especially people who are really, really sick,” said cancer patient Jim Warren.
Jeremiah Osbourne, who’s battling stage two testicular cancer said: “It’s really uplifting. Everybody in here has a smile on their face and that’s not usually the case.”
The therapy dogs in all their costume glory parade around, cuddling and comforting the patients.
“People who have cancer here and who are going through chemotherapy really appreciate these wonderful dogs. It brightens our day and our blood pressure even goes down after seeing the dogs. It’s wonderful,” said one cancer patient named Barbara.
Therapy dog handler Liz Reynick says, “We come in and the patients see the dogs and big smiles come on their faces. If we can bring a smile to their face for just a few moments, then it’s all worth it.”
The therapy dogs have names like “Hope” and “Miracle”, and in places like a cancer treatment center where people routinely ponder life and death, those dog names really mean something.
“These dogs mean so much to us” says cancer patient Mike May, “It’s a perfect partnership.”
The power of the pooches, dressed up for Halloween, bringing smiles and hope to a place where those are often lacking.