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Lumpi, Upstate’s beloved Dachsund therapy dog, retires

Lumpi, the beloved Dachsund therapy dog who has comforted, supported and calmed thousands of patients—and employees—for a decade at Upstate University Hospital, officially retired from service March 8.

A reception in the Upstate Cancer Center atrium drew dozens of well-wishers who formed a receiving line to get a chance to give Lumpi one last pat on the head and to thank his owner, Anna Mayerhofer, for sharing her canine with Upstate. Some brought gifts and biscuits for Lumpi, tokens of thanks for doing a good job.

“Lumpi brings smiles to everyone he meets, and has the ability to lessen the anxiety no matter the situation,” said Kristin Bruce, director of volunteer services at Upstate, whose office coordinates four-legged volunteers, too. “Lumpi is also beloved for his attire. He comes appropriately dressed to mark any special occasion or holiday.”

For his retirement, Lumpi sported a straw hat, shades, a lei and Hawaiian style shirt, with a mini camera attached to his collar. He was after all retiring.

Bruce noted that everyday Lumpi has been at Upstate so has his most ardent supporter, Mayerhofer. “We cannot thank Anna enough for sharing Lumpi with us. We will miss them both.”

Lumpi’s service included work with patients of every age in almost every unit, from cancer units to Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to the Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatric unit.

Stories of Lumpi’s service are endless. One that comes to mind was when he rode a gurney with a young child on the way to the child’s radiology appointment as the child was nervous about getting the test. 

“No matter your situation, Lumpi will be by your side,” Bruce said. “His love is unconditional.”

Donna Sims presented a framed photo display signed by the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation staff with the message: “You have been a HERO to those in pain, lost in depression and to those who just need a smile. Lumpi, our PM&R Hero, Well done!”

Lumpi is certified for his hospital service through Paws of CNY. He also has received certification by the American Kennel Club as a Therapy Dog Supreme.

He will spend his retirement lounging on furniture and barking at passers-by.

Caption: Lumpi sits in the lap of his owner, Anna Mayerhofer, surrounded by staff from the Office of Volunteer Services, from left, Kat O'Hara, Lauren Saldo, Kristin Bruce and Stephanie Mack. Lumpi ended a decade of service to Upstate as a pet therapy dog.