It was a howl of a good time at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Lansdowne on Sunday afternoon as the staff and guests celebrated the hospital’s facility dog, Jeremiah, who will turn 3 years old this month.
The golden retriever is the first facility dog at a hospital in the Washington, DC, region. He joined the staff earlier this year, spending most of his time with Inova Loudoun’s Child Life Specialist staff to comfort patients in the pediatric emergency room, as well as the pediatric inpatient unit. He completed his training with Hero Dogs, Inc., last month.
On Sunday, he was rewarded with ear scratches, belly rubs, and to his delight, hot dogs, in celebration of his third birthday. Guests who joined in on the festivities at the hospital cafeteria were treated to strawberry shortcake, games, crafts, and, of course, face time with the main dog, who happily posed for pictures. Young partygoers had the opportunity to make Jeremiah a birthday card, and even make a vest for their own “therapy” dog, a stuffed version. Those who attended the party brought gifts for pediatric patients at the hospital and, by the party’s end, had completely filled up the underneath of the cafeteria Christmas tree.
In addition to the traditional “Happy Birthday” song, Jeremiah was feted with a version of the “Joy to the World” song made famous by Three Dog Night. In the “Howl to the World” version, Jeremiah is a good dog, rather than a bullfrog.