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Say Hi To The Newest Canine At Cincinnati Children's

Ann Thompson
Madison Owens just met Chevy on Monday but already they are best friends. Chevy is a canine therapist.

Chevy commands attention while walking the halls of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center even though he's below eye level.The newest canine therapist is quickly becoming the center of attention and has some pretty big shoes to fill. Drummer, a golden retriever who worked at Children's last year, has moved to Columbus with his handler. Leica, another golden retriever who started at Children's last year, continues to work with outpatients.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Child Life Specialist Katie Sullivan is the handler for Chevy, a canine therapy dog who really likes to have his belly scratched.

Chevy sees patients at the hospital with Child Life Specialist Katie Sullivan. Even before the dog gets out of the car, Chevy senses he's about to do something special at Children's. "He stands up in the car and gets really wiggly and gets super excited," says Sullivan.

But Chevy's temperament is such that if kids prefer a more low-key dog to snuggle with, he does that.

Nine-year-old Madison Owens from Harrison likes it when Chevy snuggles up in her bed. "I love to do crafts and I love to hang out with animals."

The cancer patient just met the golden retriever on Monday. Chevy seems to fill a gap for Madison, who is missing her own dog at home. Madison's grandma, Theresa Owens, notices a difference when Chevy is in the bed with Madison. "It helps her to calm down and breathe."

Children's is looking to expand its canine therapy program because it appears the only down side about Chevy is there isn't enough of him to go around.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.