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SIUH's beloved Hospice dog hangs up his collar

On Monday December 2, University Hospice's Therapy Dog, Sambro, will be retiring after almost 10 years of dedicated service.

Sambro, one of Dennis Nelson's eight yellow Labrador Retriever's, was born on November 2, 2001, to Mom, Sandy, and Dad, Sammy, on Staten Island. His love, calmness and sensitivity towards people is what prompted his pet parent to make Sambro a therapy dog.

On July, 24, 2004, this compassionate pooch graduated dog therapy school and began putting his skills to work bringing smiles to end-of-life patients and their families, demonstrating that he is a very special dog. After losing his dog father, Sammy, to cancer, Sambro expanded his service to various nursing homes and hospitals, even volunteering at Ground Zero to support 9/11 families.

Sambro will continue to touch the lives of terminally ill patients and their families until he hangs up his collar at the end of 2013.

"He's helped so many families, I'm very proud of him," said Nelson. "I've had people come up to me and tell me what Sambro's meant to their family member when they were at the end, and how he helped them get through it all - he's a good boy."

This isn't the end of this dog "tail": At the party, Sambro's Poodle successor, Gigi, will be on hand to meet the hospice team and get ready to pick up where Sambro left off – that'll be some tough paws to fill.

When / Where:

Sambro's retirement party is taking place at 6 p.m. at the Regina M. McGinn MD Education Center at Staten Island University Hospital, 475 Seaview Ave Staten Island NY 10305.

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