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Therapy dog Coco lands new job at Hospice

Coco or "Coco Bean" went from a horrible start in life, to being discovered in a shelter by dog trainer Jo Brosius, who saw Coco's "loving heart". With training, Coco is now a helping families with their grief as a hospice care worker. Dogs never cease to amaze me with their ability to love.

Coco-Chocolate-Labrador-Dog-Hospice Plus Compassionate Care Center in Richmond


A ‘rags to riches’ story: Therapy dog Coco lands new job at Hospice

She gets lavished with affection all day, every day. She gets professional beauty care every other week. She has multiple beds in which she may rest from a long night of work.

Some call her “Coco Chanel” but some call her “Coco Bean.”

Whatever they call her, everyone at the Hospice Plus Compassionate Care Center in Richmond agrees it wouldn’t be the same place without her, said Brenna Wallhausser, Hospice community outreach coordinator.

The three-year old chocolate lab is the new therapy dog at the center. She replaced the now retired Annie, a golden retriever that had worked at the center since it opened in April 2008.

Coco’s typical work day includes greeting guests at the door, a job she can do from her usual position under the front desk at the feet of Kathy Bryant, patient care secretary.

“She’s got a pretty posh pad,” Bryant said of Coco’s nook, furnished with a sleeping pillow, stuffed animals and her favorite toy duck.

But Coco’s life was not always so “posh.”

The lab was found at a rescue shelter by dog trainer Jo Brosius of Berea. Authorities at the shelter said they had found Coco living in horrendous conditions.

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