MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — A therapy dog named Monty is a frequent visitor at a Monroeville hospital, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, he is making some special deliveries.
Lenny Picone and Monty visit UPMC East every Thursday. But on occasions like Valentine’s Day, the hospital ambassador arrives bearing gifts.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Cold Temperatures On The Way
Blanche Vanselow received a special delivery. Her valentine from Monty says “Hope your Valentine’s Day is a barrel of fun.”
But it’s not easy to have a barrel of fun when you’re stuck in the hospital.
But a visit from Monty always helps.
“A lot of people here in the hospital have dogs left at home,” says Picone. “I think it’s a place where people are scared, and maybe they’re tired or angry or alone, and nothing like a dog to make you feel like you’re at home.”
For Jeff Tenerovich, it’s a welcome visit.
“When I saw the dog coming around the corner, it lifts your spirits,” he said of Monty’s visit.READ MORE: Pfizer, BioNTech Begin Clinical Trial For Omicron-Specific COVID-19 Vaccine
Lenny is the chef at the hospital, five days a week. As for Monty though, well, he works one day a week, for all the treats and hugs he can get. And that’s good work, if you can get it.
Even staff members welcome visits from Monty.
“Pet therapy is huge,” says Chris Schultz, a hospital staff member. “I think it up lifts many patients. I’ve had patients who are afraid of dogs who just love him.”
She says Monty’s calm presence has even lowered patients’ blood pressure.
The chef says, “They don’t ask me what the soup is. They say, ‘When’s Monty coming?’”MORE NEWS: Activists Want Desk Duty For Reinstated Penn Hills Officer Under Investigation In Shooting Death
And that’s good medicine.