We all know dogs have the ability to be a person's best friend. They're amazing listeners, and they go through their life aiming to please others. How could anyone dislike a dog? They're the picture perfect best friend! Plus, they're fluffy, so they make incredible snuggling partners. However, in a world filled with fluff and snuggles, these dogs are all born with a purpose. Each breed has their own characteristics that sets them apart from others, which is what makes some breeds incredible therapy dogs.
It's been noted by scientists and doctors on WebMD that the sight and interaction with a dog is known to lower blood-pressure and release stress (among other benefits) — which is why so many pups have been entered into training. Going through the training to be a therapy pup is rewarding not only for the dogs, but for those who need a ball of fluff in their life. And in a world filled of pictures and videos, we have been blessed with thousands of cute therapy dogs on the Internet. So, if you're ready for your heart to melt, please check out these 15 therapy dogs that took our hearts.
15 Rusty Rodas
A couple times a year we share Rusty's story with those of you who are new to our feed. Rusty was adopted from the animal shelter when he was one. . He was abandoned at an Oregon State Park but was so afraid of humans that nobody could catch him. After a week in the wild he was caught in a trap and taken to the shelter. He stayed there for about 3 weeks, family after family came to adopt him but changed their mind after they met him, he was too timid and fearful, not the typical golden personality they were expecting. . On the way home from the shelter Rusty fell asleep with his head on my shoulder. He won my heart that day. . The first year was difficult. Rusty wouldn't walk through a doorway without dropping to his stomach and shaking with fear. He was afraid of loud sounds, new people, garbage cans, paper bags, mail boxes, and most other things too. . It's been nearly seven years since Rusty was adopted, and it's hard to believe he is the same fearful dog we brought home that day. . He is friendly, smart, and adventurous. . His story is one of encouragement and shows us the power of love in the restoration process. . We believe kindness is contagious and we hope to spread the bug one day at a time. . I am so glad I get to be his human. #IamTheLuckyOne #animalrescue #rescuedlife
Rusty Rodas is the adopted Golden Retriever from Portland, Oregon that is now an incredible therapy dog. After being found stranded in a park, his owner, Kelsey, adopted him to give him a fighting chance. She explained Pro Photo Supply that he was afraid of practically everything — he wouldn't even walk through a doorway (aw!). But how times have changed! Now that he's over 6 years old, Rusty loves being pet and admired by strangers. And once his owner followed her love of photography, she created his own Instagram account and his online fame took off. But this dog is more than just a pretty face. After preaching positivity on his account, he now volunteers at the Northwest Animal Companions, where he coaches "other rescue dogs through the early stages of their own recovery."
In short, this once shy and timid dog is now teaching other shy and timid dogs how to be confident.... I'M CRYING.
Norbert isn't just a therapy dog, he's an actual four-legged celebrity. This pup has almost 500 thousand Instagram followers! This three pound cutie was founded by his owner Julie on one of those generic adopt-a-pet websites, and is a mix of three different breeds (he's also only seven inches tall!). After seeing how happy her new pup was making strangers, Julie decided to train Norbert into a therapy dog, and he now volunteers at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. But he doesn't just bring people happiness by his silly look and soft fur, he also inspired a children's book to be written! The illustrated book, Norbert: What Can Little Me Do? is the story of him becoming a therapy dog and what makes him so special.
Umm, BRB. I need to go buy a copy.
I really hope there's a dog in this story 📖❤️🐾 . . #TPOCTucker #PawsToRead #PawsWithLoveToShare . . Love to me is ... sharing a story, making sure the little things make a big impact ❤️🐾 Nothing beats feeling happiness b/c I've made someone else happy. #ReadingBuddy This is my entry for #holidayluv2016 hosted by @beausybear ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Therapeutic Paws of Canada is completely volunteer run & relies on donations to provide free services to the public. Please consider making a donation by going online to www.tpoc.ca ❤️🐾 Many thanks #TherapeuticPawsOfCanada ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just look at this little munchkin! No, not the sweet girl, the dog! Tucker is a Morkie (a combination of a Yorkshire terrier and a Maltese) and works with children up in Ontario Canada. By the looks of his Instagram account (he has almost 9,000 followers!), he loves to read with children, listen to stories, and being adored by people. With floppy ears as sweet at his, I don't think he has any trouble getting some love from others. As a little volunteer on behalf of Therapeutic Paws of Canada, this non-profit organization helps those with physical, mental, educational, and motivational needs. He jets around different schools and hospitals giving people love and attention to help them become the superstar they're meant to be. Thanks, Tucker!
Ragley is a Goldendoodle that is sweeping our hearts away from us! The mix of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle is all too much for us to handle. She's so fluffy and tall, we just want to squeeze her! There is no doubt in my mind seeing this fluffy face every day wouldn't bring people tears of happiness. Thanks to DoodleKisses, her owner Stephanie explains it's Ragley's mission "to bring joy all around her." Um, I'm not even near her and I'm already overjoyed, so she's doing one heck of a job. Her Instagram is filled with fluffy pictures and her having fun outdoors and surrounded by people. On her spare time—you know, when she's not rolling around in the snow or traveling the U.S.—she volunteers her time as a therapy pup. What dog wouldn't want to help others in return for free hugs?
Hurley is a bully mix that loves long walks outdoors and helping those in need. This little therapy cutie is a part of a Ruff Readers program where children read to four legged companions. And that's where Hurley comes in. He sits longingly next to children listening to stories, and the entire image makes our eyes swell up. Since bully mixes have such a negative image, it's amazing to see this little baby doing good for the breed. All dogs can thrive when brought up in a loving and nurturing environment — and Hurley is proof of that. Check out his Instagram to see him hanging out with some other pups while helping those in need. It will make you want to drive over to Western Michigan just to meet this handsome pup.
Without heroes, we are all plain people and don't know how far we can go. - Bernard Malamud #NationalSuperHeroDay _ I asked this little ICU patient if he would like a #therapydog visit from Winnie. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me and whispered, “What's she for?” "She’s here to make you feel better," I told him. He set aside his Nina turtle doll and Winnie immediately cuddled up in his arms. After several minutes of silence, he looked at me and said, "She works, can I keep her?” ❤️🐾 #DogsGoGoldForChildhoodCancer
Can we just adore how cute this little Yorkie is? And the fact that her name is Winnie makes her that much cuter. With over 60,000 followers on Instagram, Winnie is on the rise as one of the most followed therapy dogs on Instagram. She was even interviewed by People Magazine last December! After being born in a puppy mill, she almost died from all the complications dogs in mills can be born to have. But now that she's over 6 years old, this little cutie now shares her compassion with children at Brenner Children's Hospital in North Carolina.
Her owner showcases her smarts by how she interacts with those around her. "If a child is excited to see her, she will be engaging and playful and if a child is hurting, she is will be still and calming." Winnie for the win!
Maximus the Golden Retriever is one good looking dog. This golden ball of sunshine is a certified therapy dog and loves to make friends wherever he goes! You can follow his adventures on Instagram, helping those reading in libraries and those resting in hospice. His broad endearing nature and love for food is what makes this pretty boy a fan favorite. Our hearts melt when we see him in pictures (like above) reading with children, or when he's surrounded by snacks. By the looks of it, he sure is one patient pup. Not all dogs would be able to say "No thanks" to a juice watermelon or a pup-a-chino from Starbucks. God we love him. If you have a soft spot for Golden Retrievers doing good deeds (or just looking at them), Maximus is worth a follow.
Doug seems to be a popular name for a Pug — understandably so. I fee like it's completely normal to have the name of your dog rhyme with its breed. So while we're all familiar with the original 'Doug the Pug,' this Doug isn't just Instagram famous, he's a certified therapy dog. With a face this smushed, how could anyone deny this little bugger!?
According to his own personal website (this dog is the real deal), he works with those who suffer from anxiety, depression, those who have behavior issues, people who have limited mobility — pretty much, Doug can do it all. He doesn't discriminate, he just dives in and brings happiness with him. Check out his website or Instagram page for some more fun filled pictures of Doug and his gift of helping people.
A lot of times we see the same sort of breeds being therapy dogs. They're either Retriever sized or dogs who can fit in your backpack. I'm not really sure why this is, but it's typically the norm. But not anymore. Now, we have Bacchus the Great Dane giving back to the community. Great Danes are so big, some people like to call them miniature ponies. They're pretty much the dog versions of gentle giants, so it makes sense to see these beauties helping others in a gentle manner.
You can catch Bacchus traveling the globe with his sister, an Austin Terrier named Tola, and reading with children in classrooms. But he doesn't just visit elementary schools, he visits students of all ages, because let's face it, disabilities and stress come to all. You can spot him on Instagram helping older students release their stress before finals while petting this black beauty.
New York City is a big city, but not too big for the French Bulldog, Polo, to take over! Polo is kind of a big deal in the New York City area. Especially in 2013 when he was shown hanging around the New York Knicks as a stress reliever. This grey/silver Frenchie can be seen running around the city spreading love and giving back. Last year he joined the American Cancer Society to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. But that's not all. He can also be seen spreading love about other foundations and charities near and dear to his heart like the American World Heritage Fund. He visits children's hospitals around the city, he was seen giving socks to a homeless man, and he even ran a toy drive! Is there anything Polo can't do?!
Happy National Therapy Animals Day!!🎉🎉 We love volunteering at the hospital and giving the patients a break from the pain or whatever they are going through. ( Charlie's favorite is getting but scratches from the nurses 😜) If you're interested in getting your animal to be a therapy animal get approved through @petpartners . 😘
Even though we're all obsessed with Disney's 101 Dalmatians, we barely see Dalmatians anymore. They seem like such a rare breed, which is why we love seeing Charlie the therapy dog so much! This former shelter dog is now a therapy dog that spreads love and kindness through his tail wags. If you couldn't tell by looking at him, he has two different colored eyes, but that's not at all, he's also deaf, which only leads to more compassion towards this polka-dotted sweetie. After having four previous owners, he finally found home in his owner Colleen, and is now a certified therapy doggy. He understands sign language, loves yoga, and helps others who need a little more TLC. We love Charlie and we're glad he finally has an owner who gives him the love he deserves.
4 Bailey & Charlie
🏥 It's BLOOD DRIVE 💉 time again!!! 🐾❤️🐾 Charlie and I will be at @cohen_childrens tonight from 6:30-9pm to try to get people to donate blood! ❤️ I will be walking all hospital floors (including LIJ and Katz) with my Dad and Charlie will be greeting donors in the teaching center (where the drive takes place) with my Mom! Please come see us and make a much needed donation! ❤️🐾🐶💉 #baileyandcharlie #blooddrive #bloodhounds #apetforapint #newyorkbloodcenter #cohenchildrensmedicalcenter #northwelllife #northwellhealth #therapydog #therapydogsofig #therapydogcentral #thepowerofthepaw
Just look at these two cuties! Although Bailey and Charlie look like fluffy teddy bears, they're actually Australian Labradoodles. These two fluffy mops live on Long Island and adore being therapy dogs. They cruise through hospital hallways and give people love when they need it most. The duo show up at hospital events, blood drives, and just day-to-day meet ups. They seem to be super helpful and aren't afraid of the camera (that's for sure). They seem to enjoy working at children's hospitals the most where they meet a bunch of loving patents and other therapy dogs as well! There's no doubt in my mind these two little cuties don't instantly make others feel better. Thanks for all your hard work, Bailey and Charlie, your love has no bounds.
Can we just take a moment to adore the cuteness that IS Gizmo?! He even has a motto that has taken over the Internet and it's "Cuz we're frens!" This tiny pop is already almost 8 years old, but you would never know it when he sits in the palm of your hand. He is one hard working dog, being a part of the K9 First Responders Unit (he's the world's tiniest!), VITAS Healthcare (hospice certified), and is also a reading assistance therapy dog. Is there anything else this little baby can do? Well, actually, yes. He also works with hospitals, police stations, schools, and pretty much anyone who needs a little love in their life. If you think that's impressive, just wait until you read this. According to his Facebook page, Gizmo is also the State of Connecticut's Suicide Advisory Board's mascot! Three cheers for Gizmo!
One: we love his name. Two: we love his face.
Java the Corgi is a certified therapy dog working in London. Thanks to his Instagram account, we learn right away that his favorite treat is bananas and for some reason that makes him so much cuter. Each week, Java shows up to care centers laying in bed with patients spreading love through the art of cuddling. After an hour of snuggling with patients, this pup even wants more! It's cute to watch him in some of his videos with different patients and seeing how much he loves people. All he really has to do is walk into a room, flop on the floor, and people go bananas. One thing is for sure though, this dog is loved beyond his greatest imagination.
This list is in no means in order of cuteness. All of these dogs are beyond cute and it's tough to ever pick which fluffy face is sweeter. Plus they all have a heart of gold, so at the end of the day, they're all winners in my book. However, Smiley the Golden Retriever has taken a HUGE part of our hearts and don't even want it back!
Smiley is a blind Golden that was rescued from a puppy mill and now gives back through therapy. He was born with a condition that left him with abnormal proportions along with being blind, but that doesn't stop him from smiling! Now that he's about 12 years old, Smiley works with a Canadian first-aid training organization working with children who are going through some serious life changes. He's also a big help when working with children with special needs and Autism. Considering the kind of life this cutie was born into, it's amazing to see him doing so many great things around him. We could stare at him all day.