Veterans Day is almost here, reminding me of a program that many have never heard of — the Red Cross Pet Visitation Program. At home and abroad, specially trained dogs visit wounded military members in hospitals and rehabilitation centers to offer love, encouragement and a little distraction.
Wounded American soldier Ryan Newberry is happy to meet Eddie at a medical center in Germany. Eddie thinks that being a distraction is the best job a dog can get – it’s so easy!
Toffee visits photographer Evan Baumhofer at a medical center in Germany. According to Baumhofer, Toffee did an excellent job of taking his mind off his upcoming surgery. Way to go, Toffee!
At Walter Reed Army Medical Center Cordy May and her pet parent Molly Morgan visit wounded Army National Guard Sergeant Ericka Skinner. It seems like everyone breaks into a smile when Cordy May walks into a room.
Dogs entering the Pet Visitation Program complete temperament and behavioral training to be sure they are suitable for hospital conditions. Dogs like Eddie, Toffee and Cordy May are lucky to have such rewarding jobs.
Veterans Day is this Wednesday, November 11. Thank you to all of those pets and humans who are serving and have served!