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NEW YORK (PIX11) – A dynamic duo is making a difference for dozens of hospice patients and their families across New York City.

Chicken the dog has captured the hearts of families in their toughest moments. A volunteer therapy dog, she is on the job on the Upper West Side. Chicken is half Pomeranian, and Boston Terrier and Papillon. She is 6 years old and nine pounds of compassion.

Chicken’s owner, Ellen Landress-Bowkett, is from the Lower East Side. She said Chicken has a calling to comfort hospice patients and their families.

Chicken is always on call. She wears a special bandana for her visits and somehow always knows what a patient needs and brings a bright spot during a tough time. Chicken has been making hospice calls since 2017. Now, her team at VNS Health says she is one of their star volunteers. 

VNS Health is looking for more good dogs like Chicken. But to be a four-legged hero, a dog must have the right temperament. They are trained and certified through the Good Dog Foundation. After nine hours of training and a supervised visit, the canines are ready to go to work. The human must undergo intense training for weeks as well.

The Good Dog Foundation and VNS Health are always looking for more hero dogs like Chicken to spread goodwill to those who need it.

To learn more about the Good Dog Foundation or how you can become a volunteer with VNS Health, visit You can also email