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JJ Hospice Therapy Dog

Offering love and hugs since 2010



JJ was a petite female golden retriever who had been the primary therapy dog at our local in patient hospice unit in Albany, Oregon since it opened in 2012, working alongside her nurse partner Tracy until her death in December 2017. She was a part of the hospice team, visiting patients and families, as well as hospice and facility staff members, along with her mother Gamine, who came out of therapy dog retirement in 2015. They were part of our "unpaid" volunteer staff, rewarded richly with love and treats. Tracy helped develop pet visitation policies for the inpatient hospice and coordinated Callie's Fund. She has been involved with therapy dogs since the mid 1990's.


JJ was a certified therapy dog through Project Canine and also did volunteer therapy dog visits in addition to her hospice work. Project Canine's Connecting Canines program was started with the goal of setting the gold standard in AAT team education, training, certification, and outreach. All of our teams receive hands on training by experienced trainers. After completing the certification process, all teams are covered by our liability insurance for volunteer therapy dog visits. All teams must recertify every two years. Project Canine is the only program that requires continuing education as a part of recertification. We offer puppy certifications and puppy partnerships, as well as special endorsements for experienced teams. For more information about Project Canine, visit their website. Tracy is also  a licensed Instructor/Examiner through Project Canine, and was selected as their first breeder in the Puppy Partnership Program. JJ's great niece Ember is in line to be her successor, showing early aptitude for the work her aunt excelled at. Ember is our third generation of Project Canine therapy dogs.


JJ and Tracy were members of HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response, a national all-volunteer organization that provides comfort and encouragement through animal-assisted support to individuals affected by crises and disasters. They have been deployed regionally following the Oso, WA landslide, SPU and Umpqua Community College shootings and support our local community with multiple callouts with one of the local school districts Crisis Response teams. 

Tracy and JJ recently collaborated on a book of stories involving JJ, her hospice work, play life, and volunteer work as as Crisis Response K-9. "JJ's Journey" was released in October 2017. We were thrilled that JJ was alive long enough to attend book signings.  


For more videos of JJ and tributes to our dogs, click on the "Vimeo" logo in the video below to access our video channel.

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