When Bob Marks moved to Springhill last summer, we were excited to welcome not only Bob but also his adorable, six-month-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Molly.
A former healthcare administrator and retired Major in the United States Air Force and past Commander of his American Legion Post, Bob loves to travel and has the trips to prove it: he has traveled to all 50 states and 30 countries.
Now settled at Springhill, Bob and Molly were walking around the campus’s pond when they met associate Pat Weaver. Pat was impressed with Molly’s calm demeanor and said she might make a great therapy dog. This idea appealed to Bob, who was in the hospital several years ago for surgery and an eight-week recovery. He recalled how much he looked forward to the weekly visits from the hospital’s therapy dogs, and said he’d look into it.
Now, one and a half years later, Molly is a trained and certified member of the Erie Team of Therapy Dogs United. On campus, she is a much-loved furry face at Springhill’s OakView Personal Care and ForestView Health Care neighborhoods. Off-campus, Molly is a hit at the Erie County Courthouse, where she is present at court hearings involving children. Most recently, Bob and Molly began visiting with oncology patients at UPMC Hamot.
Bob says he could never have imagined how his life would be transformed by bringing Molly into his life. “It’s almost like a circle has been completed,” he says of the good feeling that comes from knowing that, thanks to Molly, he is now on the giving end.