He is a trained facility dog that helps brain injury patients at Bancroft NeuroRehab.
Dave is a graduate of the Canine Companions for Independence and is trained as a mobility service dog. He works alongside his handler, Dr. Carolyn Tassini, a board-certified neurologic physical therapist and rehabilitation supervisor at Bancroft NeuroRehab’s Mt. Laurel outpatient center.
“Dave makes rehabilitation fun, engaging, and interesting. It’s so special to have a furry co-worker that brings out smiles in our patients. He loves all of our clients so he’s frequently found cuddling with them and this can make them feel more at ease and willing to try new things.”
– Dr. Carolyn Tassini, PT, DPT, CBIS, NCS
Dave works with patients in occupational therapy to improve their fine motor skills, like buckling and unbuckling his collar and vest, brushing his coat to improve arm weakness, or assisting them in activities of daily living, like opening the refrigerator door.
Dave assists in physical therapy by playing fetch with patients. This helps work on their standing balance and tolerance, along with bending and reaching to develop motor control. He also works with tug of war to aid in balance and walking with patients. Most of all, Dave provides emotional support as he cuddles and nudges our patients for attention and support.
When Dave is not working he loves playing with his brother, retired Bancroft NeuroRehab facility dog Seamus, and his friends. He loves long walks at the park and enjoys camping and hiking.