Therapy Dog, Handler Deliver Pizzas
April 7, 2020
A heartwarming story out of Tennessee, where a man and his therapy dog have been delivering food to health care workers at Tristar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage.
Ron Leonard, a retired member of the Army National Guard, and his therapy dog, Molly, visited the hospital last Thursday to bring free pizzas to those helping coronavirus patients, Fox 17 reported. Leonard told the outlet he wanted to recognize all the hard work doctors and nurses have been doing on the front lines of the virus, which has killed 11,000 people in the U.S. so far and 7 in the metropolitan Nashville area.
“It makes me feel good it makes me feel like it’s something I can do to give back,” Leonard told the outlet. “It makes me feel like I’m giving back to my community.”
He added that he had already been helping law enforcement and wanted to add health care workers to his list of those he and Molly visits.
On Friday, Fox 17 reported, Summit would receive Buffalo Wild Wings.
Leonard and Molly are volunteers with Canines for Christ, which describes itself as a “Christian community service outreach ministry.”
“Canines for Christ is an international Christian-based, animal-assisted therapy ministry that uses ordinary people and their beloved dogs to share God’s message of love, hope, kindness, and compassion to the community,” its website states. “We are a 501c3 non profit charity under IRS guidelines.
The organization was started in July 2007 by Chaplain Larry Randolph. Leonard joined as a volunteer and is now also a chaplain for the organization. His bio on the website says he rescued Molly when she was 6 weeks old, after she was “left out in 18 degree weather to die with her mom.” Since Leonard joined Canines for Christ, Molly has made more than 2,500 visits to hospitals and first responders, including 911 dispatchers in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. She is also the “crisis response canine” for the Nashville fire department.
“In 2017 we started reaching out to our 911 dispatchers and first responders across the nation. This is a much needed ministry to our ‘Hidden Heroes’ that protect and serve us on a daily basis,” his bio states.
In an email to The Daily Wire, Leonard explained what drew him to Canines for Christ.
“I was drawn to Canines For Christ back in 2014 when our therapy dog Molly was just a puppy, and wanted to use her as a therapy dog to serve and help others. Therapy Dogs have assisted our volunteers across the nation to become a ‘Ministry Of Presence’ to folks that are lonely and hurting,” Leonard wrote. “And during these challenging days of COVID 19, they have been used to comfort our law enforcement, first respondents, and health care workers.”
He also explained that Canines for Christ “has over 900 volunteers in 36 states spreading God’s eternal unchanging love!”
With people being stuck in their homes due to the coronavirus, animals have been helping to ease some of the stress, with people adopting and fostering animals for companionship.