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Therapy dog, Millie, has to stay home due to coronavirus

April 2, 2020

Patients at University Hospital could use a dose of Millie, the therapy dog, these days, but Millie and her handler, Morris King, aren’t allowed to visit right now. The visitation policy at the hospital is restricted because of coronavirus concerns.

Millie is a four-year-old labrador retriever who lives in Mobile. She earned certificates and is titled as UKC Hunting Retriever Champion, AKC Senior Hunter, Canine Good Citizen, and Complex Therapy Dog.  Millie is also the primary character and inspiration of the children’s book, Millie and Mo Dream Big, which inspires children to work hard and chase their dreams.

King has trained dogs all his life, even when he was a little boy. He has had a lot of retrievers, but he just knew there was something extra special about Millie.

“She is sensitive and tuned- into people’s emotions. She is a giving soul. I knew I could do more with her than just hunting. I knew I could serve with this dog,” King said.

“There are certain things that can be taught such as obedience and how to react to varying levels of stress. These things help set the dog up for success. I wish I could take credit for everything that Millie does that’s good, but I can’t. I just hold the leash. The magic that happens between a patient and a therapy dog is much greater than anything I could ever teach. A much higher power is at work!,” King adds.

King says he doesn’t know when they will be able to volunteer again, but he says as soon as the hospital opens up for visitors, he and Millie “will be the first to sign up.”

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