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news News Thursday, October 3, 2019 Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:41 PM - Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:41 PM

Therapy dog hits milestone of 300 visits to Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida

Therapy dog hits milestone of 300 visits to Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida

On Oct. 2, News Channel 10 stopped by Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida to help one of our pet therapy dog's commemorate a special visit, his 300th visit, to be exact.

For nearly seven years, Riley and his "dad," Marc Rebhun, have brought smiles to the faces of our patient families, staff members, volunteers, Shriners and other visitors. As a matter of fact, Riley is so familiar with the layout of our facility that he leads Marc from area to area – always knowing what to expect around each corner: open arms and smiling faces.

Riley's 300th visit was no different, with the exception that everyone's favorite red-tinted golden retriever had a media camera following closely behind him. Riley stopped to pose for pictures, snuggle up close with a familiar face, and do what he does best – bring comfort and joy to patients who may be dealing with physical challenges or adjusting to new medical devices.

Riley is a rescue dog from Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid Florida. The rescue obtained him from a family who realized they were not prepared for the energy of the typical golden retriever puppy. Rebhun and his family applied to the rescue, and on Nov. 28, 2010, were matched with and adopted Riley.

"He immediately was a hit in the walks in the neighborhood," Rebhun said. "Riley began training classes and passed his evaluation with Therapy Dog International just after his second birthday. Less than two months later, he began volunteering at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida."

Facility staff presented Riley and Marc with a certificate of appreciation for Riley's dedication, as well as some treats and toys to take home. He jumped up on his two hind legs to sniff around in his goodie bag while his tail wagged with excitement.

"This has been the best day," Marc said. "For me and for Riley. Thank you so much. Next stop, 400 visits!”

View the Channel 10 News story.

Marc and RileyMarc and Riley with award