Star has three other handlers who have been trained to take her to visit patients in the hospital.
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (NJ) has an interesting member on its medical staff. Her name is Star, she's a four year old golden retriever and her primary responsibility is to make people happy.
"She's truly lives up to her name," says Nancy Kiely, director of Food and Nutrition. "When she walks through the hospital doors, her entire temperament changes. She's here to be warm and fuzzy and make people happy."
Star trained for an entire year at East Coast Assistance Dogs, Inc., where she received certification as a Pet Visitation dog. She is trained in public etiquette and is able to recognize over 80 commands.
Nancy Kiely is Star's primary handler. (In fact, Star's employee ID card reads: Star Kiely.) About three years ago, EHMC asked its staff members for volunteers to participate in the Pet Visitation Program. Nancy was happy to participate.
Star navigates the traffic-ridden hallways, takes the elevator, jumps up on the bedside and, best of all, inspires patients of all ages.
What's Star's best trick according to Nancy? "Showing her fat belly!"