Five-year-old Aubree Hamilton loves all things police, law enforcement, police dogs—you name it.
Her mom, Bryanna Hamilton, attended the police academy last spring, which kickstarted her love of law enforcement. During her mom’s time in training, several police officers visited Aubree’s Hesperia, Michigan, home to bring gifts and put a smile on her face.
Aubree collects security patches and has hundreds from across the globe. She has them from as far away as Germany, Australia and Iraq. Her collection is bursting at the seams.
Spectrum Health K-9 Teams
Duke Haan with K-9 Rex, who’s 7 years old
Derek Karcher with K-9 Fix, who’s 7 years old
Nicole Bowl with K-9 Max, who’s 3 years old
Cooper Watkins with K-9 Bak, who’s 6 years old
Her affinity to police dogs is just as strong—Aubree’s wish with Make a Wish is for a German shepherd puppy.
Thanks to the Child Life team at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Aubree spent some time with the K-9 team from Spectrum Health Security during her most recent cancer treatment.
“Aubree just loves dogs, so this surprise should be a lot of fun,” her mom said, as the K-9 team entered the infusion clinic.
“Doggy, doggy, doggy!” Aubree exclaimed. “Here, doggy!”
Aubree is in the middle of a tough cancer diagnosis with nine radiation treatments and 23 more chemo treatments on the horizon. The diagnosis is newer to her family as they just learned in January she has a stage 3 Wilms’ tumor, a form of kidney cancer in children.
“Aubree had a lot of questions about security dogs when she was here on her last clinic visit,” said Rhys Vandemark, child life specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, “So we decided to get the team up here for a surprise visit to brighten her day.”
“This is the most rewarding job ever,” said Spectrum Health officer Cooper Watkins. “I get paid to hang out with a dog every day. Most people bring paperwork or their laptops home, and I get to bring a dog home. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
“Can he stay with me, mommy?” Aubree asked as the dogs exited the clinic to get back to more official business.