A Therapy Dog’s “Pawspective” on Dressing Up

Posted on Nov 01, 2019

Therapy dogs Indy and Mona during the Pet Parade on Halloween at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Indy and Mona take a moment to swap notes on the best ways to bring a smile to patients' faces.

Well, this is awkward.

My name is Mona, and I’m a sleek racing hound, or at least, I once was.

Now I’m embracing my second act as a therapy dog.

It’s not a bad gig; however, this most recent assignment is giving me “paws.”

This is Halloween week and today is the Pet Parade.

I am strapped into a bumblebee costume, and I have to tell you,

it’s not my best look.

Oh, the indignities …

Frankly, it’s hard to wag in this drag.

It’s going to be a ruff day.

Not kidding, I may go mutts!

At least I’m in good company …

My “compuptriots” are denying their essential dog selves too.

There’s Noah, the black Labrador trying to shake himself free of his Batman getup.

Then there’s Nikita, a standard poodle, strutting her stuff in a skunk costume.

Luna is the flashy Goldendoodle styling as Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She’s rocking a fiery red wig and aquamarine fish tail. Drama mama, that one.

Gunner is the sweet chocolate lab who’s been turned into a giant pumpkin. He’s OK with it.

Indy is man’s best friend — moonlighting as a minion.

Then there’s the tiny Dachshund named Elvis, dressed as a famous artist. A cranberry chapeau and painter’s palette complete the look. An artist’s temperament too. Bless his heart.

Even the “pup-arrazzi” has turned out — snapping photos left and right.

It would all be a bit too much, except for one thing.

We get to see the kids today… the patients! Our favorite thing.

We are on the move and here they are!  So happy to see us.

Squeals and giggles. Two-year-old patient Lucas is here for an infusion … but not before a dance-off with three-legged dog, Roxxy. That dog is hardcore.

Thirteen-year-old Ardens was feeling a little down until a parade of preening pooches passes by. He breaks into a slow smile and pets my head just the way I like.

Seven-year-old Roman has to keep the door to his hospital room closed — but he gets a happy surprise when we take turns greeting him through the glass window.

The day is just getting better, although it’s not without incident …

We keep losing Olivia. She’s a golden doodle dressed up as Waldo. But we always find her again.

Pumpkin dog, Gunner, keeps stealing naps along the way, but no one minds.

We make our rounds and everywhere we go — a sea of smiles.

This is what therapy dogs do … what we live to do.

We hear the humans say, “This is the very best day, ever.”

Kids make the best humans.

This day is not so bad after all …

It’s actually turned out to be a treat.

View more photos from the Pet Parade.


A Birthday Wish

Celebrating a first birthday in the hospital isn’t ideal, but the Johns Hopkins All Children’s staff helps “Sea Bass” and his family have a special day.

Read More

Prescription for a Good Day

As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.

Read More

Gavin’s Gift

For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.

Read More

View all MOMENTS