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Therapy Dog and Owner Bring Cheer to the Sick

If you are a patient at White Plains Hospital, you would be lucky to have local resident Sophie Rosenzweig pay you a visit. She has sandy blonde hair, loves making new friends and will surely be dressed for the occasion. She is also a 7 pound Chihuahua.

The “pet therapist” travels to the hospital twice a month to patient rooms, the nurse’s station and other departments to spread a little cheer. And Sophie, who often dons a dress or sweater picked out by her owner Barbara, stays for 10 to 15 minutes at a time so people can pet, talk and play with her.

“I hope it cheers the patients up. It cheers us up,” said Barbara Rosenzweig of her volunteer hours. “It’s nice because you meet so many different people.”

Sophie is also certified by Therapy Dogs International, which means her personality has been tested and evaluated to ensure that she fit the description of a pet therapist.

Owner Barbara agrees her calm demeanor is ideal for working in a hospital. “She is very low key and will sleep next to you,” she added. “There’s a woman who works in the hospital who never touches dogs but she picks Sophie up.”

Sophie has worked as a therapy dog at White Plains Hospital for the past 7 years. She and Barbara have also volunteered time at Port Chester Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

What is Sophie's proudest moment since becoming a therapy dog?

She will have soon paid her 250th visit to White Plains Hospital and will receive a certificate for her hard work.

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