Longest-working therapy dog at Seattle hospital retires

Abe, a beloved Golden Retriever at Seattle Children's Hospital, has retired after 11 years of visiting sick children in the hospital (Photo: Seattle Children's Hospital)

SEATTLE (ABC) — A beloved volunteer employee of Seattle Children’s Hospital has made his last rounds.

Abe, the hospital’s first-ever therapy dog, had been a weekly fixture for the last 11 years.

“I always said he was born to be a therapy dog,” said Judith Bonifaci, Abe’s owner and trusted handler. “From the moment I met him, I could tell he was an old soul who had a special purpose in life.”

While most golden retrievers are certified when they are between 3 and 4 years old, Abe was one of the youngest ever to receive his certificate, earning the distinction at just 14 months old, according to the Seattle Children’s Hospital blog.

Abe has started to experience some health problems and is finally hanging up his badge to spend the rest of his years relaxing at home.

“Abe has been a wonderful partner throughout the years,” said Bonifaci. “I will always treasure the beautiful memories that we’ve shared seeing patients together.”

Bonifaci will continue her rounds at Seattle Children’s Hospital with her 2-year-old therapy dog, Jackie Robinson.

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