PeaceHealth hires new facility dog at therapy center

Now roaming the halls of the Grabow Therapy and Wellness Center in Bellingham is PeaceHealth’s latest hire – Tessy, a two-year-old Labrador and Golden Retriever mix.

Joining Labrador and Golden Retriever mix Galice, the center’s other facility dog, Tessy serves patients of all ages and abilities individually, according to a press release. She is paired with physical therapist Diana Kurth.

“She’s just a sweet, sweet dog,” Kurth said. “She’s very loving but also a little goofy at times. She balances friendliness and a high energy level with the ability to take a step back and chill when needed.”

Tessy likes to play fetch and tug-of-war with patients who need to gain balance, core strength and leg strength. Kurth monitors each interaction to ensure it meets patients’ needs.

According to the press release, patients with Parkinson’s disease, for example, can benefit by taking Tessy for a walk to practice larger steps on new terrain while patients who have suffered a stroke can practice brushing Tessy’s fur to regain motor abilities on either side of their body.

“Perhaps Tessy’s most notable trait is that she’s very encouraging,” according to Kurth.

Tessy was matched with Kurth through the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence. Amy and Brett Esary sponsored Tessy, who went through extensive training and testing with Kurth prior to arriving at the center.

Grabow Therapy and Wellness Center is located at 3217 Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.