Owner of late Winnipeg therapy dog looking to train replacement

Rusty the dog. St. Boniface Hospital Foundation / Twitter

They’re big paw prints to fill, but the owner of a longtime therapy dog at St. Boniface hospital is looking for a new pooch to take on the job.

Rusty, George Ames’ previous dog, was a beloved, bespectacled staple at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital, completing over 2,000 hours of service to patients and visitors before his death in February at age 17.

READ MORE: Winnipeggers share stories after death of Rusty, beloved St. Boniface hospital therapy dog

Ames took to social media Thursday to put a call out for a new dog to take on Rusty’s therapy work.

George Ames and Rusty.
George Ames and Rusty. Kijiji Winnipeg

In a ‘dog wanted’ post on the online marketplace Kijiji, Ames said he will train and register Rusty’s replacement as a therapy dog.

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“If you know of a handsome, well behaved very calm dog, 1-4 years old, 40-60 pounds, that needs a loving home, please contact me,” Ames said in the post.

Competing with Rusty’s legacy in Winnipeg might be a challenge, as the dog has a social media following with thousands of fans, even after ‘crossing the Rainbow Bridge.’

“The loss of a friend like Rusty is large,” said the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s Vince Barletta, after the dog’s death from cancer earlier this year.

“All of the visiting, wide-grinned smiles, and tail wags Rusty gave throughout the years meant so much to so many. Our donors are thankful to Rusty, as are we. He was, and will remain, a gift.”

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