This is Bernie. He belongs to a lovely woman named Lois, and he is a Certified Therapy Dog, who works as a hospital volunteer. Bernie and Lois visited my dad once, when he was in the hospital in Arcadia, and I can't tell you how much he enjoyed that. Pets who volunteer at Arcadia Methodist have to be certified by one of three organizations, before attending specialized training at the hospital. It's a lot of work, for both members of the team, but they provide a wonderful service to the community.
If Bernie looks large, it's because he is. I believe he is a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, often known in North America as a Great Pyrenees (but someone please correct me if I'm wrong, as I neglected to confirm it with Lois). But his physical size is matched only by his gentle and kind nature.
These two are a friendly and popular duo in town, as they get stopped by children and adults alike, asking about Bernie and wanting to pet him. Lois is always very kind, explaining that he works in hospitals. On Friday night, she was especially kind to me, as I couldn't get my camera working properly, and the flash mistakenly went off on Bernie (SO Sorry, Bernie!!) on the first shot. He kept posing for me, though, and we got this lovely photo
Thank you Lois and Bernie, for being there to help.