Therapy Dogs Ike and Sage Reduce Stress Aboard Ships

Sailors and Marines under stress sometimes need a loving set of eyes and an extended paw to feel better. Enter Ike, a three-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever therapy dog. Honorary U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ike was deployed on May 24, 2023, to the USS Wasp as part of an experiment in boosting the well-being of U.S. Navy crews while deployed.

Ike is part of the U.S. Navy’s Expanded Operational Stress Control canine pilot program, which is gathering quantitative and qualitative data on how a therapy dog aboard a ship can have a positive impact on the emotional and mental challenges crews may face on a day-to-day basis.

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Photo Credit: Seaman Kaitlin Young