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Celebrating Calder: A Beloved Volunteer for Compassus

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Celebrating Calder: A Beloved Volunteer for Compassus


At Compassus, we are privileged to have many dedicated volunteers who contribute to the well-being of our patients and their families. One very special volunteer for our Ellijay, Georgia program and surrounding communities stands out: Calder, a collie therapy dog who has touched countless lives with his gentle presence and unwavering dedication.

Calder embodies the motto of his Calder Clan: “be mindful.” This guiding principle has become a benchmark for his life and his work as a therapy dog. Calder charms everyone he meets, bringing joy and comfort to those he visits. His future in community service in the rural mountain town of Ellijay, Georgia, looks bright as he continues to make a profound impact.

This past November, the family celebrated Calder’s 5th birthday with a week-long series of events alongside his friends at Manor Lake Assisted Living, Memory Care & Independent Living, Compassus’ hospice patients, and at the local library. This momentous celebration also marked Calder’s 400th Therapy Dog visit, earning him the prestigious AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished title.

Visiting our patients and families is one of Calder’s greatest ventures. Comforting individuals in hospice care or those who have suffered trauma, and residents dealing with memory issues, requires empathy and understanding. Despite being an active collie, Calder has mastered the art of sitting calmly and quietly with those in need, a skill that has improved as he matured.

Individuals enjoy petting Calder and seeing him in his seasonal outfits and with his toys, which serve as subtle reminders of the holidays. Often, Calder’s visits awaken memories in memory care residents, who fondly share stories of the collies they had as children.

We are immensely grateful to Calder for his steadfast loyalty and his unwavering support of our mission to advance well-being and honor the quality of life. His commitment to the Compassus ‘Care for Who I Am’ culture is truly inspiring.

Thank you, Calder, for your dedication and the joy you bring to our patients and their families. To learn more about our Ellijay, Georgia program, click here. To learn more about the benefits of pet therapy click here.