Children’s hospital has a canine staff member
Rocket, along with his handler, Anna Dressel, is welcomed to the hospital by McKenna and Samantha Nelson. Photo courtesy of NutriSource.

Early in 2020, a new therapy dog named Rocket was introduced to the staff team at a Minnesota-based children’s hospital — and the kids love him!

Young patients at Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital were recently introduced to the hospital’s newest staff member – a two-year-old golden retriever named Rocket. This sweet pup has gone through years of advanced specialized training that allows him to be present during medical procedures – something other therapy dogs visiting the hospital are not able to do.

Besides offering support and affection during procedures, Rocket’s role is to help children at the hospital take their medicine and relax during anxious moments, and to encourage them to start walking after surgery. He also offers support to visiting families.


Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.