Ike the pet therapy dog joins Iowa Veterans Home

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Iowa Veterans Home nurse Angela Rodriguez of Liscomb poses with Ike, a German Shepherd in the Malloy Leisure Resources Center Tuesday. Ike is the facility’s new pet therapy dog. In addition to nursing duties, Rodriquez will be training Ike in the weeks to come.

Ike, a 16-week pure-bred German Shepherd, is the newest and youngest member of the Iowa Veterans Home team.

On Tuesday, the friendly pup with giant paws received a hearty welcome from Commandant Timon Oujiri, staff members and many residents in the Malloy Leisure Resource Center.

Ike will serve as the pet therapy dog.

“Having Ike here today is really exciting,” Oujiri said. “We have not had a pet therapy dog since resident favorite Millie passed at age 16 about four years ago. I thank JBS and United Food & Commercial Workers Local #1149 for their donation so Ike can join us.”

JBS corporate and the union joined forces in donating $1,000 for Ike’s purchase and training.

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Iowa Veterans Home residents and staff are joined by JBS management and members of Local 1149 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Tuesday in the Malloy Leisure Resource Center. JBS and the union collaborated to donate $1,000 towards the purchase and training of Ike, center, a German Shepherd who will spend much of his time among residents as pet therapy

Angela Rodriguez of Liscomb, will do double-duty as IVH nurse and Ike’s trainer in the coming weeks.

“I will be going to classes myself to properly train Ike,” Rodriguez said. “He will go home at night with me and have training on some Sundays.”

It will be a combination of on-the-job and specialized training.

Ike will learn his role over time, Oujiri said.

“We will have Ike here in the Malloy Leisure Resource Center for activities as well as elsewhere on campus,” Oujuri said. “Ike will have his own room so residents can visit him at scheduled times. Ike will not be on 24/7. He will have time off too.”

Rodriguez said Ike weighs in at 28-pounds but will grow to about 110-pounds.

Following the JBS/UFCW check presentation, Rodriguez and Ike were off to visit residents in the Ulrey Building on the IVH campus.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com


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