HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When you hear of the American Red Cross, you often think of the men and women who aid others in times of extreme need. From hurricanes and tsunamis, to house fires, they always have their boots on the ground. But some heroes have four legs.
6-year old Labrador Retriever, Ollie Bear delivers. Ollie Bear and his handler Millie are volunteers with the Hawaii Red Cross Human Animal Bond Program. A couple of years ago I was a patient at Tripler. When Millie was approached by a beautiful golden retriever that was volunteering.
"...and I felt so good and I thought I'd like to do this."
When Millie got Ollie Bear, it just seemed like a perfect fit.
"He had that temperament affectionate, playful and he's an athletic dog too and he's very happy all the time."
Millie says "playtimes" for even dogs is important.
"He likes to play frisbee and ball; high jump retrieving dumbbell and doing the broad jump. Playing tug of war with his sister, being in the Mililani Christmas Parade, participating in the Leeward Training Club. It's like WOW there's my buddy."
But where Ollie Bear excels is on the floors of Tripler Army Medical Center, where Ollie Bear changes lives. He will go to each person to make sure that he says hello to each person. You can see the joy on everyones face so that alone just makes it worthwhile.
In the last 2 years that Ollie Bear has been in service, Ollie has put in 392.75 hours of visiting patients, families and staff. That is more than some human veteran volunteers have accumulated.
Ollie Bear Griggs: American Red Cross Hawaii Animal Hero