Evie Posner and Chloe

Evie Posner and Chloe

"It's rewarding to bring a dog in and see people's faces light up," says Livingston resident, Evie Posner, describing visits she makes to hospice patients with her three-year-old Goldendoodle, Chloe. Evie and Chloe are a volunteer team with the Barnabas Health Hospice Paws for Patients canine therapy program in West Orange. The duo, who have been Paws volunteers since the program's inception in 2009, visit patients in their homes or in nursing homes or assisted living residences.

Evie describes Chloe as a dog "with manners." "She's very friendly, calm and listens well," she says of her canine companion. When Evie discovered information about Paws volunteer opportunities at a local dog park, the mother of three teenagers knew instinctively that her dog would be a perfect fit.

"One of our most memorable experiences as a volunteer team was when we visited a patient in his home who wasn't leaving his bedroom very much," explains Evie. "After several visits he began to leave his room to spend time with Chloe. Soon he was up and dressed, greeting us at the door when we arrived, armed with a frisbee, ready to play outside with Chloe. These are the times when you know you are truly making a difference."