Meet Teddy: LewisGale Hospital Pulaski’s first-ever certified therapy dog

Teddy’s job is to make people’s visit to the hospital a ‘paws-itive’ experience

LewisGale Hospital Pulaski is offering a new type of therapy.

PULASKI, Va. – LewisGale Hospital Pulaski is now offering a new type of therapy to their patients, pet therapy.

The hospital’s Director of Emergency Services, Heather Umberger is the owner of the two-and-a-half-year-old labradoodle, Teddy who is the most recent addition to the hospital staff.

After months of training, tests and certifications, Teddy is now a certified therapy dog.

“It’s been very well received. Our staff are just overjoyed to have him here. Our patients have taken to it very well. Of course, we always ask before going into a patient’s room just to make sure it’s going to be beneficial for them. So far it’s been very positive,” said Umberger.

One doctor, in particular, Dr. Karl Kletzing who works as an emergency room physician says he’s seen firsthand how pet therapy can help patients.

“My son was in the hospital a couple of years ago around here. When he was in the hospital, he was in the ICU for a month and they used a dog there and it really helped him. That’s why I think they are so needed in the hospital,” said Kletzing.

Because being at the hospital, doesn’t have to be so “ruff.”

“The medicine is easy to provide, that’s what we go to school for, but you need a little something extra and that’s what I’m hoping Teddy will do for people,” said Umberger.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.