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Winnipeg Therapy Dog

May 15, 2020

They’re big paw prints to fill, but the owner of a longtime therapy dog at St. Boniface hospital is looking for a new pooch to take on the job.

Rusty, George Ames’ previous dog, was a beloved, bespectacled staple at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital, completing over 2,000 hours of service to patients and visitors before his death in February at age 17. Ames took to social media Thursday to put a call out for a new dog to take on Rusty’s therapy work.

In a ‘dog wanted’ post on the online marketplace Kijiji, Ames said he will train and register Rusty’s replacement as a therapy dog.

“If you know of a handsome, well behaved very calm dog, 1-4 years old, 40-60 pounds, that needs a loving home, please contact me,” Ames said in the post. Competing with Rusty’s legacy in Winnipeg might be a challenge, as the dog has a social media following with thousands of fans, even after ‘crossing the Rainbow Bridge.’

“The loss of a friend like Rusty is large,” said the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s Vince Barletta, after the dog’s death from cancer earlier this year.

“All of the visiting, wide-grinned smiles, and tail wags Rusty gave throughout the years meant so much to so many. Our donors are thankful to Rusty, as are we. He was, and will remain, a gift.”

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