When Jim Cerny confided to his hospice social worker how much he missed having a dog, that was all she needed to hear. 

Soon afterwards, Mojo made a house call to Cerny and his wife, Kathleen, who live in Mentor, Ohio, to spread some holiday cheer. Mojo, a 10-year-old rescue dog, is part Shih Tzu and part Lhasa Apso.

He was accompanied by his owner, Hospice of the Western Reserve volunteer Jim Tishman of Fairview Park, who also brought the Cerneys a plate of homemade Christmas cookies decorated by teen volunteers.  

“He’d much rather see patients than other dogs,” Tishman said of his canine companion.

Mojo is one of approximately 15 certified pet therapy dogs who help comfort Hospice of the Western Reserve patients and their families. Visits from pet therapy dogs are one of many experiences available to individuals receiving hospice care in their own homes as well as those in nursing homes or in one of three hospice houses.