Local Therapy Dog Spreads Joy with Visits to Schools and Hospitals

“This is my buddy Winnie. She is almost 7 years old and is a therapy dog that visits schools and hospitals. 

She is a Leonberger, which is a relatively rare breed that’s a cross between a Saint Bernard, a Newfoundland and a Great Pyrenees. She’s a big dog, and weighs in at about 120 pounds. But she is just so incredibly gentle, and luckily for us, one of the biggest dog breeds that doesn’t drool much.

Me and my wife Pam waited until she was about 2 years old before getting her certified by an agency for therapy. After that, we began visiting locations. We live locally and regularly do therapy sessions at a High School special needs classroom in Peabody, Massachusetts. It’s a fun and rewarding experience to be a part of.

She never licks anybody, but she loves sniffing around, especially in new places. She has been grabbed by 5-10 kids all at once and it has never, ever rattled her. She is very good, unless she sees a squirrel. She’s crazy for squirrels.

We’re so happy to be out and about during the River Jam Festival, and Winnie’s pretty happy to be getting lots of attention here.”

— Winnie’s Owner, Mike Boston