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Top 5 breeds in Doggie Brigade

Dogs are not only man’s best friend, they’re also beloved by the patients, families and employees at Akron Children’s Hospital. About 90 canines strong, Akron Children’s Doggie Brigade has brought joy and comfort to sick kids since 1992. While many breeds are represented in the Brigade, here’s a list of the top 5:

#5   Shepherd Mix

Handsome has been in the Brigade since 2005. He was rescued by Chris Witschey, who has two other dogs in the Brigade. In addition to visiting patients and staff, all three act as therapy dogs in our rehabilitation department. Handsome is deaf and follows commands via hand signals. When he’s not visiting patients and helping with therapy, he likes to snack on ice cream.

Ruby Bussey Bermese Mountain Dog #4  Bernese Mountain Dog

Ruby has been in the Brigade since 2009. She is the companion of Jeannie Bussey, who has two other Bernese Mountain dogs in the Brigade. Ruby loves to snack on peanut butter cookies, while her sisters, Savannah and Violet, prefer dried liver and cheese, and chicken, respectively. The calm, sweet nature of the Bernese Mountain dog makes this breed ideal for our Doggie Brigade.

#3   Mixed Breeds

Gizmo is a Llasa mix and has been in the Brigade since 2009. Gizmo, the companion of Denise Hallett, has inherited all of the best traits of a mixed breed, making him a great canine for our Doggie Brigade. His favorite treat is Bil-Jac Liver.

Brandie Weisel Labrador Retriever #2  Labrador Retriever

Brandie has been in the Brigade since 2006. She is the companion of Donald Weisel, who has two other Chocolate Labs in the Brigade. Brandie loves to snack on dog biscuits, while her sisters, Dixie and Rosie, prefer popcorn. Labrador Retrievers are known for being very loving, kind and compassionate, so it’s no surprise that this is the second most popular breed in our Doggie Brigade.

Maddy Nasrallah Golden Retriever #1  Golden Retriever

Maddy has been in the Brigade since 2005. She is the companion of Lori Nasrallah and loves to snack on pita bread. Goldens have a reputation for being wonderful service dogs and excellent family dogs. They get along really well with children and are very loving and playful. They’re also the most popular breed, and that’s certainly true for our Brigade.

All of the dogs in the Doggie Brigade must pass a veterinary exam and behavioral screening process to be accepted into our program, which is registered by the Delta Society Pet Partners.

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