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Facility Dog Filbert and Stacie have been a team since 2022, and have been warming hearts wherever they go. Soon after placement, they began working at multiple medical facilities in Portland, Oregon. Last year, they completed a cross-country move to the Washington DC area. Despite the big move, this team picked right up where they left off and started volunteering at Children’s National Hospital. We recently checked in with Stacie for an update on how things have been going with Filbert. Read excerpts from our interview below:

Where is Facility Dog Filbert working these days?

Facility Dog Filbert poses while working at Children’s National Hospital in the Washington DC area.

Stacie: Filbert and I got started with Children’s National Hospital through their Animal Visitation and Therapy Program and visit the hospital weekly. One of the highlights from our time together in the hospital over the past year has been our extra patient visits around the holiday season. Children’s National facilitates a wonderful holiday season of giving program that we were able to be a part of and Filbert even had a chance to join in their holiday lights night in the hospital.


What was it like moving across the country with Filbert?

Filbert’s presence has been profound both in and outside of the hospital. His adaptability and calming demeanor in all environments make such a significant impact on others. Filbert made the move so much more of a joy, especially getting to see him work in a new hospital as if he had been there many times before. He is such a special boy who is continuing to bring such joy into patient rooms across the country.


How has your bond changed since you initially were placed with Filbert?

With every visit to the hospital and with each day, our bond just continues to strengthen. He is my best buddy and I am so thankful to say he has many young patients who have him as their buddy as well. It is such an honor to be able to share Filbert’s love and sweet demeanor with others who show him such love and appreciation in return. It has been such a joy to uncover Filbert’s special affinity toward very young children. His gentle and calm demeanor is perfect for very young patients who are meeting a dog for the first time through Filbert in the hospital. He seems to orient a little extra toward the youngest patients and it is such a gift to be able to witness the connections made in the hospital with Filbert in the room.


Any fun or heartwarming stories to share from Filbert since last year?

One very special trip Filbert had the chance to go on since moving to the east coast was to accompany me as we visited Toronto, Canada to visit the first puppy we raised as volunteers for Guide Dogs for the Blind who is now a working guide in Toronto and his person who he was placed with as his guide dog. Since Filbert was raised by Guide Dogs for the Blind before being transferred to Dogs for Better Lives, this was a very special full-circle moment and trip to share. Filbert, as usual, did a phenomenal job handling the trip to Toronto in stride and it was a great reminder of the profound impact of puppy raising and the many paths these dogs can take on their journey to finding their calling in the community.


Facility Dog Filbert poses in front of the US Capitol building on a recent outing with Stacie.

Any exciting future plans with Filbert?

Coming up in addition to Filbert’s work in Children’s National Hospital, we plan to expand into working at less visited regional hospitals in the Shenandoah Valley area, adding visits to more facilities in the community. On a personal note, Filbert will be getting to enjoy some downtime and decompression by visiting a few east coast national parks this spring and summer, including Shenandoah and Acadia National Parks. Filbert enjoys hiking as part of his decompression time from his work in the hospital, so we incorporate hikes regularly with him!

Would your facility benefit from a Facility Dog? Visit dogsforbetterlives.org/facility-dogs to learn more about their work, and apply.

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