Furry friend helps Rosecrance clients feel at home

An energetic four-legged friend has found a home at Rosecrance’s Griffin Williamson Campus, interacting with adolescent clients as they navigate their recovery journeys.

Gracie Rose is a 2-year-old mixed-breed puppy that Rosecrance staff found at an Ogle County animal shelter. Aaron Statler, Supervisor of Environmental Services, said Gracie was rescued during a storm in Arkansas.

Though not an official therapy dog, Gracie does interact with clients in treatment for substance abuse during one-on-one counseling sessions. Clients also help with Gracie in other ways, such as taking her on walks and assisting with her training.

“Most of the clients, especially those with dogs at home, they see Gracie and they love her,” Statler said. “Anytime we have a client who might be lonely, she’s always here to cheer them up. She’s happy and always ready to give her all.”

Jaime Burch, Office Support Supervisor at Griffin Williamson, sent detailed instructions about Gracie’s behavior commands to Rosecrance staff to be consistent with her training.

“It’s important to know how to treat her,” Burch said. “She teaches kids how to have that control: how to walk her, how to take care of her and show her the right commands. That’s really important, especially in recovery, because the kids have to follow these rules so she doesn’t run away or jump up, and they have to clean up after her. It’s important to care for another living thing. The most important thing with training is consistency, and it’s the same with recovery.”

Dogs have been part of the Rosecrance community for many years, dating back several decades to the organization’s former adolescent campus on Alpine Road. Rosie the dog lived at the Griffin Williamson Campus from 2006 to 2013. Staff submitted several names for Rosecrance’s new puppy, eventually voting in favor of Gracie.

“When we saw Gracie, we knew that was the dog for Rosecrance,” Statler said.



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