Looking Back: Alan, Vera and Daisy

 

Daisy Pollock was born with a purpose. From her first Pet Partner evaluation at 1 year and 1 month of age to what would be her last evaluation at 10 years old, Daisy brought years of comfort and care to patients and staff at VCU Health in Richmond, VA. As a member of the Dogs On Call program based at VCU Health, she was a shining example of the title “Therapy Dog.” Daisy received several awards, was featured in a myriad videos, and accomplished an absolutely incredible 5,000 patient visits throughout her amazing career while interacting with thousands of additional staff members and visiting family and friends. But Daisy’s greatest achievement was in the joy she brought to so many lives. Children felt less anxious when Daisy would snuggle in bed with them; she gave them the confidence of knowing they now had a furry friend to support them through whatever they would face. Adult patients felt at ease when she would softly lay her head in their laps, knowing they needed a gentle touch and a calming presence to encourage them at just the right moment. As her handlers Alan and Vera would tell you, Daisy was always eager to engage patients and “share her special brand of medicine” to aid in their treatment. Daisy supported patients and families in their most emotional moments, from finding out about a difficult diagnosis to saying a final goodbye to loved ones. She also celebrated the successes of patients with a contented tail wag and a happy trot from room to room. Daisy kept patients and staff smiling and laughing as she performed her numerous tricks, lighting up the whole room with her easygoing ways and desire to please. She always knew just what was needed as she worked her magic with everyone she met. And now, as we pay tribute to her, we remember so many meaningful visits, knowing that the impact she had on countless lives is a celebration of its own and the best tribute of all to a life well lived.