Lola, a therapy dog for the
Medically Fragile Children's
Program, died July 7 at the age of
14. She worked at the Children's
Hospital for seven years.
Lola, an MUSC
employee for seven years, gives
a kiss to a patient. Lola died
According to Pat Votava,
Administration, Lola was sweet,
kind and gentle. "I like to think
that she is now wagging her tail
with joy at being reunited with so
many of the children she loved so
Lola started work at MUSC as the
therapy dog for the Medically
Fragile Children's Program (MFCP)
in 2005. The physical,
occupational and speech therapists
at MFCP incorporated Lola into
their therapy with the children,
using her to encourage children to
walk by walking Lola in the hall
and to speak by calling her name.
Rawle, owner of Harry Barker
treats, donated a portion of the
proceeds from biscuit sales to
the MUSC therapy dog program.
She encouraged them with a
wagging tail and could "speak"
when they asked her to.
"As soon as Lola entered the
Children's Hospital, her pace
quickened and she pranced with a
purpose," Votava said. "Lola was
particularly close to the
pediatric oncology patients and
cystic fibrosis patients. One
little boy with CF would only get
out of bed to do his physical
therapy if he could walk 'My Lola'
in the hallway. Lola would often
wear a birthday hat and visit
children on their birthdays.
and Pat Votava delivered
Valentine's Day cards each year
to children and staff.
The pediatric oncology's bulletin
board featured photographs of the
children and Lola titled, "Lola's
Division of Pediatric
Michelle Hudspeth, M.D., said Lola
was an amazing dog. "Lola
brightened some of the hardest
days for our patients, not to
mention improved the blood
pressure of the staff!"
Isabel Virella–Lowell, M.D.,
Pediatrics, Children's Research
Institute, said Lola was a
wonderful friend to the CF family.
"We will miss her. She brought
such joy and comfort to our
children. The smiles she brought
to their faces and the laughter
she put in their hearts are