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After 11 years of service, this therapy dog is retiring and the story will melt your heart

Gentle Golden Retriever Abe has been training to be a therapy dog since his human mama, school teacher Judith Bonifaci, adopted him as a puppy.
Judith had lost her previous dog, also a Golden Retriever, and wanted to make a difference with the next one. She adopted Abe as a puppy in 2004.
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But before Abe could train to be a therapy dog, he had to make it through puppy training. Fortunately, he was a natural at dog school. At 14 months, he passed his assessments and began his career helping people.
Abe had to wait until he was 2 before he could work with patients at the hospital. It turned out he was also a natural at therapy with children. Judith was a member of the Seattle Children’s Guild Association Board of Trustees and was able to arrange a place for Abe as a canine ambassador at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Abe loved it. He lit up the mood of everyone from sick children to hospital staff. And he did it for two hours every week for 11 years at the hospital, longer than any other service animal there.
But now Abe is 13. He has problems with his back and throat. Like everyone, he's getting old. And he has a successor, two-year-old Jackie, also a Golden Retriever, and others in the Animal-Assisted Activities program. So, Judith has decided to let Abe enjoy a well-deserved retirement. But he will never be forgotten by the staff and patients at the hospital, past and present.
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