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December 9, 2016

Doggone therapy: Students learn about therapy dog, make snowpeople for hospice workers
Salem News

SALEM — Second-graders at Horace Mann Laboratory School have learned that leaders come in all shapes and sizes — and sometimes walk on four legs. 

Patrick, Care Dimensions' therapy dog, visited the school Thursday to accept handmade gifts students made for the workers at the Kaplan House in Danvers, where the agency provides hospice care. Patrick, an 8-year-old golden retriever, spends time comforting patients at Kaplan House with Horace Mann second-grade teacher Elisa LaSota. 

The community project, LaSota said, followed discussions in class about community leaders and the qualities of a good leader. As part of the project, each student made a snowman or woman along with a note of thanks for the work those at Kaplan House do each day. 

After collecting the gifts in class, Patrick and LaSota delivered them to the hospice facility Thursday afternoon. She said he personally handed each one over via "gentle mouth," a trick he learned in puppy training school.

Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.