Meet Vandy – a very special team member

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The recreational therapy staff at Mary Free Bed has a universally-loved colleague who’s taken the department by storm during the past 13 months. Meet Vandy, she’s intelligent, talented and devoted to her job. Why’s she so special? Well, see for yourself.

At Mary Free Bed Recreational Therapy serves as a bridge for patients between other therapies and helping them get back to their communities, it’s especially important for patients with new disabilities.

Vandy herself is getting ready for a birthday, born December 26, 2014. As a puppy, she started training with Paws with a Cause and was raised by a volunteer puppy raiser before moving into their prison training system. She received four months specialized training at Paws.  She’s the first Certified Animal Assisted Intervention Dog trained by Paws in the state of Michigan.

Vandy was purchased by Mary Free Bed November 2016  training continues. She has four handlers, all specialists on Recreational Therapy team and sees 5 patients per day to assist in their therapy. For appropriate patients, Vandy is included in their physical and occupational therapy goals as well as therapy by speech-language pathologists and recreational therapy.