Marlene Sisti’s encounters with a pet therapy team at her workplace, inspired her to become certified.
“I could see how much happiness another dog brought to the hospital,” said Marlene, who is a medical technologist at Penn Medicine-Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro,
“I thought my goal was to strictly be a therapy team in the hospital because that’s what I saw,” said Marlene. “But then I talked to Tricia and it’s been an eye opener, seeing how prevalent mental health is. “It’s just overwhelming to know that this is where our kids of today are. It’s just sad how much pressure kids are under.”
Marlene had found the perfect therapy dog when she saw a puppy and her litter mate in a pen by themselves at a pet adoption event. Marlene recalled thinking, “They’re cute. What’s their story?”
“I just really clicked with her,” she said.
Marlene adopted Harley, and her brother fostered Harley’s sibling, who was quickly adopted.
“From day one she’s been a very mellow dog,” said Marlene. “She was so calm and she didn’t bark, I thought there was something wrong.”
But there was nothing wrong with Harley, who has excelled at every event since they joined AIR in April 2018.
Marlene remembered when she and Harley went to Hightstown High School for a Coming Up for AIR presentation. She said one girl was off to the side and Harley went to her.