Bernardo the Golden Retriever Retires After Eight Years of Pet Therapy at Grosseto Hospital

Bernardo the Golden Retriever Retires After Eight Years of Pet Therapy at Grosseto Hospital

Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Fumipets

A Farewell to Paws: Bernardo the Golden Retriever Retires After Eight Years of Pet Therapy at Grosseto Hospital


The End of an Era: Celebrated Pet Therapy Dog, Bernardo, Retires

After eight years of dedicated service in the Palliative Care and Hospice departments, the beloved Golden Retriever, Bernardo, is retiring from Grosseto’s Misericordia Hospital. Known for brightening the lives of countless patients since 2015, his retirement was marked by heartfelt smiles and tears on his final hospital visit on June 23rd.

Bernardo’s Remarkable Journey and Contributions

Bernardo, a part of the Dog4Life Onlus organization, paid his final visit to bid adieu to his duty of serving and healing. At the age of 13, Bernardo, in good health, is ready to enjoy his golden years and pass the baton to his fellow therapy dogs. These include Mora, a Border Collie, and Labrador Retrievers Blu, Love, and Paddy, all of whom have been his companions in bringing comfort and joy to many patients.

During his retirement, Bernardo will be cared for by his human companion, Lucia Franci. Franci began her journey in pet therapy with Bernardo eight years ago, an experience she refers to as a “wonderful journey”.

Remarkable Connections and Healing

Franci shared her heartfelt emotions, “I’ve always thought that Bernardo was born to do this. He demonstrated special skills in dealing with people from the very beginning, showing astonishing empathy for everyone he encountered. These encounters often left me speechless. Alongside Berny, Goccia, and Onda, two Labrador Retrievers who sadly passed away last year, and my colleague Paola Cecere, we stepped into Misericordia Hospital. It was a dream come true. Memories of these years are countless, filled with faces, smiles, tears, silence, and laughter. Dogs truly turn into four-legged angels and we witness some real magic.”

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Resounding Praise for Bernardo’s Service

Dr. Anna Paola Pecci, director of the Palliative and Hospice Care departments at Misericordia, spoke highly of Bernardo, “Berny, as I fondly call him, will forever remain in our hearts. His absence in the hospital corridors will be deeply felt.” She lauded Bernardo’s intuitive presence as an integral part of the care provided.

Simona Dei, Health Director of Asl Toscana Southeast, shares a special memory with Bernardo, “We shared a sandwich a few years ago, and we won each other over. It was palpable that he held a unique place in Hospice, a role he fulfilled until now, for which I thank him.”

Grosseto’s Misericordia Hospital: A Model in Pet Therapy

Misericordia Hospital in Grosseto stands as a shining example of a healthcare institution that fully understands the significance of the human-animal bond and the positive impact it can have on patient care. The hospital welcomes domestic pets to visit their human companions. Dr. Pecci reaffirmed the hospital’s commitment to pet therapy, citing the multiple benefits pets bring in providing support to patients and staff. Their presence acts as a bridge beyond the hospital walls, promoting a sense of serenity and stimulating communication and social relations.

This article is based on the original report by Andrea Barsanti on For more details, you can read the full article here.



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