Paying it forward on four legs

By arhospice on August 29th, 2019

Paying it forward is not limited to people. Dogs, too, can spread love and compassion to those in need – especially through the Arkansas Hospice Therapy Dog Program.

Lucy, a standard poodle, was born blind. Allan Gates was known for opening his home to dogs. When a vet called him about Lucy, little did he know how both their lives would change. Allan opened his home up to this disadvantaged puppy. He provided her not only with the care any other responsible pet owner would, but also with cataract surgery when she was a year old. The surgery resulted in Lucy gaining near perfect vision – a gift of unconditional love.

Now, at the age of 6, Lucy, returns that love to others through her work in the Arkansas Hospice Therapy Dog Program. Together, she Allan regularly visit patients at the Arkansas Hospice Ottenheimer Inpatient Center, located at CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock.

Allan Gates and his standard poodle, Lucy, are volunteers with the Arkansas Hospice Pet Therapy Program at the Ottenheimer Inpatient Center.

Providing comfort care to hospice patients with life-limiting illness, Allan has witnessed Lucy bring joy to patients, caregivers, family members, and hospice staff.

When asked what makes their work together so special, Allan said, “Visiting with Lucy has allowed me to do things I’m not sure I would have done on my own.”

Watch this heartwarming video of how Allan and Lucy bring comfort to Arkansas Hospice patients, and find their own joy in doing so.

If you have a therapy dog and would like to join the Arkansas Hospice Therapy Dog Program, visit for details. If you and your dog would like details on how to become a therapy team, you can visit

Even if you don’t have a therapy dog, there are still many ways you can help by being a volunteer with Arkansas Hospice. Visit to learn more, or call our director of volunteers, Harriet Hawkins, at 501-748-3392.

14 Parkstone Circle | North Little Rock, AR 72116
(501) 748-3333 or Toll Free (877) 713-2348
Arkanas Hospice Arkanas Hospice Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 71-0846826