Research suggests that the average dog has the ability to understand more than 150 words.
Bob Hayes estimates that Sugar, his golden retriever, knows at least 75.
On Wednesday mornings, she shows how much a certain combination of them means to her when he asks, “Sugar, are you ready to go to work?”
The question puts her in therapy dog mode, Hayes said, “and she is thrilled. She is up and ready to go.”
The finishing touches – teal-colored vests for man and his best friend – assure Sugar it’s time to get in the car and head over to the Mayo Clinic hospital about a mile away.
Once they enter the lobby, Sugar becomes the object of great affection for patients and visitors. She gently accepts their love and gives it right back, Hayes said.
The result: People with a lot on their minds tend to smile and relax as Sugar’s calming presence lifts their …