Dogs and ice cream? Yes, please

Four-legged volunteers coax smiles, and a chill treat, at the children’s hospital.

The West Michigan Therapy Dogs pranced into Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, tails wagging.

The littlest of the pack, Mario, an 8-year-old Yorkie wearing tiny Velcro shoes, proved to be quite popular.

When Ada resident Gabrielle Bates, 15, saw Mario jaunt into her room, she gasped and covered her mouth in excitement. Bates is being treated for pneumonia.

“Oh my gosh, Mom, I want one,” Bates said.

After all their visits, some of the dogs used their volunteer vouchers to chill out with a treat.

Pavlov, an 150-pound Great Dane Mastiff mix was among one of the dogs who enjoyed an ice cream cone.

“He sometimes has to wait a second before he continues eating his ice cream because he will get a brain freeze,” Lissa Fuller, Pavlov’s human companion, explained.

The non-profit therapy dog organization visits Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital every other Tuesday to help promote physical, emotional and psychological support, as well as offer some bonus cuddling, licks and tricks for patients, family members and staff.


For more information on Spectrum Health volunteer opportunities, call 616.391.8194, visit, or email

Did you enjoy this post?


Comments (2)

  • what amazing pictures. the dogs make the kids so happy. I have seen Irene with Bullet at St.Marys chemotherapy section .my mom just loves to see him and the other therapy dogs. puts a smile on everyone’s faces

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *