Jimmie Smiles: The Story Behind the late Therapy House Dog (Rest in Peace)

by Claudia Rohling

Jimmy the Therapy Dog
Jimmy the Therapy Dog
Jimmy the Therapy Dog

An elderly man came into a dog shelter in Kentucky. His dog, Jimmie, was at his side. Tears welled in the old man’s eyes as he stated that he was dying and he needed a good home for his dog. "He is a good dog," he said, "and he needs a good home… a REALLY good home". The shelter told him they would look for one. He had stated he would return soon. He never left his name. A few weeks later a boxer was found in the overnight holding pen next to the shelter. The staff recognized the dog as Jimmie. He was scared, frightened, and depressed. Workers from the shelter were concerned about both Jimmie and his owner. They put out posters asking about the man’s welfare. An anonymous phone caller stated the man had died and they didn’t know what to do with Jimmie so they left him in the holding pen. The shelter workers set about finding Jimmie a home.

Jimmie’s picture was put on Petfinder.com with a short description about him. There were too many dogs and not enough people willing to take an older dog. Jimmie was going to be euthanized in 24 hours. A rescue program brought Jimmie from Kentucky to a Franksville, WI foster home along with seven other dogs. Paul Rohling was bathing the first batch of foster dogs when Jimmie finally made it to the foster home. The two made a connection immediately. Jimmie was sick and needed care. Paul made sure he got it. Papers were filled out and within days he went to his very own home with Paul. Jimmie is now well and can’t wait to go to work everyday with his buddy, Paul.  There he shares his gentleness every day at "work" at Therapy House in Racine, Wisconsin.   Jimmie’s eyes are soft brown and he listens to stories as he snuggles at Paul’s feet. He wags his tail when he meets the clients and to greet them. And, above all, Jimmie now smiles and he makes others smile too.

 

Rest in Peace and thank you for 11 years of service