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Colorado woman, her dog bring joy to patients, staff at Sky Ridge Medical Center

Denver7 Everyday Hero: Carolyn Shovlowsky
Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-11 20:33:02-04

LONE TREE, Colo. — Furry faces have walked the halls at the Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree for more than a decade.

“It just brings so much happiness and so much joy. And the amazing ongoing therapy that it does for the patients and for the staff here," said Kathy Sorge, a respiratory care manager at Sky Ridge.

It's all part of a therapy program that one remarkable woman started herself.

“When I moved to Colorado and I was getting ready to retire, I was thinking, 'You know, what am I gonna do when I retire? I’m not the sit on my behind and do nothing,'" said Carolyn Shovlowsky, a longtime volunteer at Sky Ridge.

Shovlowsky is accompanied most days by Breck, her loyal dog who brings joy to patients in even the toughest situations.

“Hospitals can be a scary place for a lot of people, can be stressful for a lot of people... to have someone like Carolyn that make it feel like home away from home is really a neat thing that we can do and what we really try to do with the program here,” said John Penn, director of volunteer services at Sky Ridge.

The program is not just for the patients. The pair make their rounds with staff members, too.

Although Breck is the star of the show most days, Shovlowsky is just grateful for the opportunity to help.

“My world is filled with smiles... It’s very rewarding for me to that I have the power to make people feel better [or] smile just by bringing my dog," Shovlowsky said.

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