Sign In

Benson Bringing Love To Others

November 20, 2020

The Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City has a new friend to try and give love and support to those who need it.

“It’s been a long road,” said Marquisha Reed, who has a child at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Her 6-month-old son, Ezra, just had his second heart surgery. With her other two children at home in Wichita, Reed has spent more than a month at the Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City alone. That’s where pup Benson comes in.

“It is a stress relief to be able to just sit relax and play with the puppy,” Reed said.

The Ronald McDonald House recently added the fully trained service dog just to hang out and comfort more than 87 families who are currently staying there.

“Provide some comfort, some playfulness, some love when you need it most,” said Tami Greenberg, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Kansas City.

“We can’t give a mom a hug after having a horrible day at the hospital, so Benson gets to do that for us,” said dog handler Kelley Van Towle.

Benson is a 2-year-old burner-doodle who has a job that is all about love.

“They’re here because their child is seriously ill and they need extra love, extra support sometimes the kind that no human can give,” Greenberg said.

“There’s like very limited physical contact with anybody so when you need a hug and you don’t have anyone there, it’s great to have something,” Reed said.

Ronald McDonald House says the families can walk or play with the dog.

Benson is replacing a longtime house pet but he’s the first fully trained service dog at the home.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Canine Companion

    A Maple Ridge family signed up for the Woof-a-Thon virtual challenge, all because of the positive impacts an autism service dog has had on their teenage son. The recent fundraising challenge was created by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, to raise needed money towards providing guide, autism service, and PTSD service dogs to individuals in […]

    Read more

    Iowa Student And Her Service Dog

    Kayonna Topp, 43, endured the first year of her double master’s program with reoccurring episodes of stroke-like symptoms. An Iowa State graduate student, Topp had been set to get a service dog, Kashi, in May. But due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the process was delayed. Kashi was trained through Paws & Effect, […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Training

    Brisbane woman, Ashleigh Annet never saw herself as a ‘dog person’ until she found herself completely smitten for a “little white Shih Tzu” at a family Christmas party in 2016. A few months later, Ms Annet and her husband got a Maltese Shih Tzu named Lola and the pint-sized pup quickly became a special part […]

    Read more

    Ellory Gets A Service Dog

    After a Blue Ash girl received a complex diagnosis, her parents have been on a mission to get her a service dog because they believe it would change her life dramatically. Ellory McClure’s health journey started in late 2017 when her parents, Brian and Carolynn, say a tonsillectomy led to a change in her behavior. […]

    Read more

    Alfie The Pug

    Pets bring so much joy to our lives – coming home and seeing their little furry faces light up is one of the best things, speaking as a true animal lover; and I’m not alone in my beliefs as it’s estimated 44% of households have pets. Though we all think our pets are special, and […]

    Read more

    Puppy Love Program

    This month, Hopewell-Loudon introduced a new part of their counseling program: a Goldendoodle named Mia. Mia is a therapy dog owned by H-L’s K-8 school counselor, Jenny Sterling. She’s a year and a half old, and was born all the way in Florida. Sterling’s family adopted her last July. When Mia was adopted, the thought […]

    Read more