Meet Rosie! Some call her Rosabell, others call her Rosadoodle, several even call her Rose and she’s one special pup. She’s got a very important job to do—she’s a therapy dog! She helps others in need all while making them smile. If someone is sick and needs medical attention, Rosie will be right by their side the entire time. She’s one special lady dog. Her calm, patient, healing energy lifts spirits up far and wide.
Read also: “Cherished Therapy Dog Needs Therapy Too“
Here’s the story of Rosie. Rosie and her owner, Shana Horn, have visited several nursing homes and institutions. They’ve visited The New York State Psychiatric Institution, The Jewish Home at Rockleigh and The Friendships Circle of Bergen County. Rosie and Shana travel to these various places in Manhattan by the New Jersey Transit express bus. Dogs of course are allowed to ride in the New Jersey Transit bus but are all required to use a carrier in order to get to their destination. That means, Rosie has to sit inside a crate the entire bus trip. Unfortunately, for Rosie and her mom, trains and planes have the same exact rule. (And that really sucks.)
This may not sound like a huge problem for some, but for Rosie this was not good. The carrier and Rosie did not mix well whatsoever because it made her very stressed and anxious. Rosie needs to be calm and nurturing in order to do her job. She’s supposed to help the anxious and suffering, not be the anxious and suffering!
Shana told Barkpost,
Every item brought into the hospital had to be carefully monitored, which gave me much more to be on top of, and I had less flexibility in what we could do with the patients.
So what did Shana do? She started fighting for a change.
She started with calling the New Jersey Transit Customer service but nobody answered. She tried contacting the Governor of New Jersey which eventually led her to the New Jersey State Senator, Loretta Weinberg. Thanks to Senator Weinberg Shana started to see change in the system. Luckily, Senator Weinberg understood the importance of Rosie’s job. She also understood the carrier was getting in the way of all of that.
With the generous efforts from Senator Weinberg, Debbie Francia of the Senator’s office and the New Jersey Transit, Rosie can now ride carrier free! There’s even a letter to prove it!
Unfortunately all dogs cannot ride carrier free in the New Jersey transit, but we hope that law will eventually pass. For now, the NJ transit is open to voluntarily allowing dogs access on a case-by-case basis. So that’s a great start!
Here are details about Rosie from Barkpost. Thanks for sharing this amazing story! We love it here at Digital Doggy!
Rosie is a registered therapy dog through Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society). If you live in New Jersey, have a therapy dog, and would like similar access to the New Jersey buses, feel free to contact State Senator Weinberg’s office and/or Shana Horn for more information.
Keep up the good work Rosie! We love you and we are happy you never have to ride in that carrier again!