Silver Cross Program 

Good Citizen Dog Starts Making Rounds at Silver Cross

Sadie is a little black dog with a mission. Silver Cross Hospital has accepted Sadie and her owner as a pet therapy team that will promote the healing process for patients by giving them the opportunity to pet and love a warm affectionate little dog.

 “We are very excited (and a little scared),” said Sylvia Erickson, Sadie’s owner and partner. “A volunteer will enter the room before us and ask if the patient would like a visit. Sadie will approach the bed or chair and the patient can pet her.”

Last March, Erickson and Sadie graduated from Joliet Junior College’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) course that prepares dogs and owners to be certified as good citizens by the American Kennel Club. They then went on to take the Therapy Dogs International (TDI) test to become a Therapy Team. After they successfully passed the test, they approached Silver Cross Hospital to explore opportunities to provide therapy services to patients.

“I’m thinking of enrolling in the March CGC class. I want to go through it again using the martingale and moving to just the buckle collar,” said Erickson. “I also would like to work on having her (Sadie) sit and offer a paw when approached by someone to be petted. I think the extra training is always good.”

Another Dog and Owner Become a Therapy Team

The weekend after the JJC CGC class, a Golden Retriever named Tessa and her owner Ede Jankowski also tested with TDI and became qualified to work as a therapy team. Just like Sadie and Sylvia, Tessa and Ede are able to do therapy work.

According to Ede Jankowski, Tessa’s owner, Tessa did very well. “I am very proud of her,” said Jankowski, “but I really feel that a lot of the credit goes to Matt and Holly; they were so helpful and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going.”

The next CGC class begins March 1. For more information, call Brenda Large at (815) 280-1504, or e-mail

© 2012 Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431-8938
Phone: (815) 729-9020