Grizzly Bear the therapy dog mans the kissing booth during Valentine’s Day at Greenfields of Geneva. Photo courtesy of Greenfields of Geneva.

Dr. Grizzly Bear, a 4-year-old goldendoodle, didn’t go to medical school but he’s earned his title. 

And he may not prescribe pills but his presence provides plenty of good medicine to residents at Greenfields of Geneva senior living community in Geneva, IL.

“Residents look for him or ask for him a lot,” said Grizzly’s owner and Greenfields Life Services Manager Leslie Paquette. “He’s a nice morale boost for everyone. Just as many staff members want to see him as residents do.”

Grizzly Bear with his therapy dog certification. Photo courtesy of Greenfields of Geneva.

Grizzly Bear became a licensed therapy dog in November 2022 and has been a fixture at the community ever since. He attended an intensive training program at WoofBeach in Geneva, four days weekly for many months, to earn his title. In order to pass, he had to prove that he was easily controlled in a crowd, could walk through crowds of people, would sit and stay on command, could separate from Leslie without stress, and enjoyed meeting people and accepting their touch. He provides a much-needed release for his patients. 

“When people are with him, they’ll talk about their day and lovingly talk about their own pets,” said Paquette. “They’ll say, ‘I need therapy,’ and will just pet him and talk to him. He brings joy.”

Grizzly Bear has made more than a few friends during his time on campus, even giving out a smooch or two at the kissing booth during Greenfield’s Valentine’s Day celebration. Now he roams the halls of Greenfields, looking to lend a helping paw wherever he can.  

“We’ll sometimes go to Reflections Memory Care or Briarwood Skilled Nursing and visit the residents there,” Paquette said, “People with low mobility reach to pet him or walk to my office to find him when they normally wouldn’t walk that far. He always brings smiles and laughter to people who were previously feeling down.”

Sounds like the perfect prescription.