House Dog: McNugget

House Dog: McNugget (“Mac”) RMHC’s Littlest Volunteer

At RMHC we often hear: “I miss my pets!” Our families are excited to learn we have a solution for that! McNugget, more often known as Mac to his friends and admirers, is the RMHC’s professional cheer-giving House Dog. A Bichon and Havanese mix, Mac doesn’t bark, shed, or have allergens that might aggravate patients’ conditions. Mac was donated to the House as a puppy and adopted by RMHC volunteer, Beth Hurrle. His future as a volunteer was planned out before his first birthday- he began his training as a therapy dog at just six months old and accomplished his certification at age two! Once Mac puts on his red vest, he knows he is going to work and slows himself down to be touched, hugged and played with by a House full of families. Mac likes to visit the House throughout the week at various times to see as many of his friends as he can, but he also keeps a standing date as the “pawesome” special guest at Family Movie Night once a month.

Meet Beth Hurrle, McNugget’s Mom!

My name is Beth Hurrle.  I am McNugget’s Mom.  McNugget’s story started with the 2012 Gala.   He was purchased at the Gala by a board member who, in turn, donated him to the House in the hopes that he would be the Therapy/House Dog.  To do that, the search was on for someone who would be interested in training and caring for him. Our family was considering another dog and so taking McNugget (Mac) worked for us and became my new job.

During his Therapy Dog training, McNugget  and I worked daily.  We had a routine of brushing, walking, training him on disciplines, and then took evening classes two times per week. McNugget passed his test in November of 2014. We were so thrilled, that we even had a graduation party for him!

Bringing McNugget into the House has been a great experience.  He truly loves visiting with the kids and showing off his tricks to anyone who will watch him.   He has come a long way from his puppy days, and I can see him developing into a wonderful therapy dog. We are currently scheduled two times weekly and will gladly come in for other visits when we know of special events or friends that are returning to the House.

I’m so glad that McNugget has been so well received.  He is such a joy to me and I believe that the kids feel the same way.

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