Therapy dog celebrates birthday with patients, colleagues - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Therapy dog celebrates birthday with patients, colleagues

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People and dogs alike wished therapy dog Madison, a golden retriever, a happy 9th birthday. People and dogs alike wished therapy dog Madison, a golden retriever, a happy 9th birthday.
Madison traded kisses with a well-wisher at her party. Madison traded kisses with a well-wisher at her party.
Madison is Frazier Rehab Institute's first therapy dog. Madison is Frazier Rehab Institute's first therapy dog.
The celebration included cake for all, with dog-safe desserts served to the pooches. The celebration included cake for all, with dog-safe desserts served to the pooches.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It was a doggone good time for a few patients and staff as they celebrated the birthday of a colleague and friend at the Frazier Rehab Institute.

Gathered on all fours, people and dogs alike wished Madison, a golden retriever, a happy 9th birthday.

Madison is the institute's first therapy dog. She joined the facility in 2007 after being donated through a grant from the IAMS Dog Food Corporation.

Frazier Rehab Institute Recreation Therapy and Adaptive Sports Manager Jill Farmer said Madison helps boost patients' spirits while also helping them recover.

"Anytime somebody's walking, Madison can walk with them. Anytime they're using fine motor or gross motor movements, they can use Madison to groom her, to pet her, to move her feet," said Farmer. "Sometimes she's just a really good cheerleader."

But no cheerleader is complete without her team. Madison's birthday guests included other therapy dogs, doctors, nurses and patients.

"The patients really enjoy having that time to celebrate her too," said Farmer.

The celebration included cake for all, with dog-safe desserts served to the pooches. Madison even opened a few birthday gifts.

Staff members said Madison is trained on more than 40 different commands and that she knows how to do everything from sitting and staying to opening and retrieving items from the refrigerator.

Over the next year, Madison will work with therapists to help train a potential predecessor therapy dog named Charlie.

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