Sparrow celebrates retirement of four-legged friend, Jake

Click here for more photos from Jake's retirement party!

Published: May 22, 2014

After serving Sparrow Patients for 10 years, it's time for Jake to hang up his leash.

The 13-year-old husky/lab mix has been a weekly presence at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan since he became a pet therapy dog in 2004.

"I was looking for a meaningful way to contribute to our community, and I knew that I wanted Jake to be a part of that," said his owner, Ruthi Bloomfield of East Lansing. "Jake has these real soulful eyes, and I remember thinking that this dog has a special gift."

Every visit is different, but Jake is always there to provide comfort to Patients, their families and even his human colleagues. He has developed a strong bond with many Patients, and has attended funerals and visited families outside of the Hospice House.

"It's just amazing what dogs can do that people can't," said Bloomfield. "They provide such comfort and joy to families and the Patients."

Bloomfield will continue to volunteer without Jake, and urges interested pet lovers to sign their dogs up to volunteer.

"There is a need and these dogs make a huge difference."

For more information about volunteering at Sparrow, visit If you are interested in pet therapy in our community, visit Therapy Dogs International at