Video of hospice dog's tender care of patient goes viral

A video of Oregon therapy dog JJ tenderly caring for a hospice patient quickly went viral this week.

A video of Oregon therapy dog JJ tenderly caring for a hospice patient quickly went viral this week.

JJ's "boss lady" is registered nurse Tracy Calhoun.

JJ, who does the talking on her own Facebook page, said the lady she was caring for "has very few people to visit her."

"She cannot see and often does not wake up, but she did like having her hand on my fur. She was very calm during my visit. We were listening to Yeats, by the way. I was very insistent to have her touch me, more so than usual. We fell asleep later with her hand splayed on my head, both of us snoring (but no proof of that!) I sure can be silly at times, but I also know when to be quiet and present. Her caregivers were very appreciative when they saw this video."

JJ's following on Facebook jumped from 1800 to 7,000 in 48 hours and is now at more than 40,000. 

Calhoun said in five days 200,000 people have shared the video and there are more than 28,000 comments on it.

"What we do is absolutely touching, but the depth of the response to the video is amazing, as well as heart warming," she said.

"Wow! We're a bit overwhelmed at the response of our reposted video, but happy to be able to share," JJ said. "Apologies to those who got teary watching the video, it comes with the territory here sometimes."

JJ is a certified therapy dog and is part of Project Canine. She is also a HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response K9.

JJ was one of several therapy dogs who came to offer comfort after the Oso landslide and also the SPU shooting.

While she's on the job in Albany, Ore. she helps support staff, volunteers, patients, families and visitors.

"Often I'm just a silly distraction and am good at insisting on a belly rub," she says. "Sometimes, I make the best one to support grieving loved ones, because words often are inadequate. "

Follow JJ on Facebook


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