Dog helps lift patients’ spirits
By Catherine E. Toth, Advertiser Staff Writer
Whenever Jane Koseki gets a visit from Simba, a 70-pound golden retriever, her mood changes. Suddenly, she’s not a patient at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, learning how to walk after losing her toes to diabetes. She’s a dog-owner desperate to be reunited with her 11-year-old Shih Tzu, Hubby.
“I miss my dog so much, it was just wonderful to hold him,” said Koseki, who hasn’t been home in more than a month. “Just to be able to feel Simba gives me the reassurance that my dog is waiting for me at home.”
Simba is the first and only resident therapy dog at the rehab hospital, which treats nearly 8,000 disabled or injured patients a year. His first day on the job was Feb. 6.
Under the supervision of therapists, Simba works five days a week, visiting patients and helping make their lives a little easier. He even gets mandatory vacation — one week every three months.