Meet the Healing Pups Team


Breed: Yellow Lab
Where This Pooch Patrols: Floats based on patient/staff request.


Breed: Yellow Lab
Where This Pooch Patrols: Primarily visits Psych ED, Pediatrics ED and staff.
Fun Fact: Maestro was named in honor of a conductor with the Thayer Symphony Orchestra, but his name also means "teacher" in Spanish.


Breed: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Where This Pooch Patrols: Pediatric inpatient unit and Pediatric ED
Fun Fact: Despite weighing 90 pounds, Nala is actually the runt of a litter of 10 puppies


Breed: Black Lab
Where This Pooch Patrols: Floats based upon request, and also visits New Employee Orientation once per month with her handler, Sheryl.
Fun Fact: Rylie was trained by an inmate at MCI Framingham in the NEADS program.


Breed: Boston Terrier
Where This Pooch Patrols: Primarily visits inpatient cardiology.
Fun Fact: Charlie was rescued from Tennessee 3 years ago. When he is not at work he loves laying in the sun, chasing squirrels and playing with his ball in the backyard.


Breed: Chocolate Lab
Where This Pooch Patrols: Primarily visits Pediatrics


Breed: Boxer and American Bulldog mix (we think!)


Breed: Yellow Lab
Where This Pooch Patrols: Menino 7E and 7W


Breed: Yellow Lab Mix
Where This Pooch Patrols: 4E Pediatrics and Pediatric ED


Breed: Yellow Lab Mix
Where This Pooch Patrols: Orthopedic Surgery


Breed: English Mastiff


Breed: Long-haired Labrador Retriever
Where This Pooch Patrols: Blue loves to visit with patients and staff alike!
Fun Fact: Long hair is recessive gene in labs – if both parents have it, then the lab pups may be fluffy like Blue! Blue loves treats, giving high fives, and can speak on command!

blue the healing pup



Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Where This Pooch Patrols: Inpatient Pediatrics

About Healing Pups

Healing Pups crew member Dexter, a boxer handled by BMC employee Mike Hurley, pioneered this program in big ways. Following the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013, Dexter and Mike visited the SICU Family Waiting Room. Almost instantly, Dexter was greeting victims and their families as if they were his new best friends, leaving them smiling from ear to ear.

The immediate effects of these visits were astounding. Patients and staff alike realized what a positive impact that furry friends like Dexter could have on those truly in need. It quickly became apparent that during traumatic times, nothing is more valuable than a companion.

Following in Dexter's paw prints, the Healing Pups team continued to develop offering patients and families a calming presence and helping to take their minds off of their troubles.

Today, the Healing Pups program has grown to include fourteen dogs who regularly visit the BMC campus. All of the Healing Pups crew members have undergone a rigorous training and behavioral evaluation to become certified therapy dogs. Two members of the team, Rylie and Maestro, were specially trained through National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) - an organization that provides independence to people who are deaf or have a disability through the use of canine assistance.

Some of the dogs have regularly assigned areas on campus, while others float around based on various patient requests. But, the Healing Pups don't stop there! They are also active in visiting with BMC staff, and most recently, at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless.

The Healing Pups Program at BMC

To learn more about Healing Pups, please contact the Department of Patient Advocacy.