Meet POOCH Volunteer Team Bob Dylan and Adam
Mar 16, 2020 Cedars-Sinai Staff
At the center of a heap of laughing people in the Cedars-Sinai Healing Gardens sits 90 pounds of serene, white fluff: Bob Dylan, volunteer therapy dog.
Bob Dylan, or Bob for short, is known to inspire and bask in dogpiles like this during his regular visits to Cedars-Sinai, where he and his dad, Adam Goldworm, are members of the Barbara Cowen POOCH Volunteer Program. Together, Adam, a film and TV producer, and Bob, a 12-year-old Maremma sheepdog, work as a team to comfort patients, visitors and staff.
"Bob makes everybody feel like there's something good about them. Everybody thinks he likes them the best. He just loves people and has such a calming influence. I'm so absurdly proud of him."
Here, Adam shares Bob's story and their experiences volunteering at Cedars-Sinai.
How did you get Bob Dylan?
Adam Goldworm: A friend encouraged me to go meet him at an adoption event when he was a puppy. Bob totally conned me. I'd never seen a dog so well behaved—he walked right next to me at the perfect pace, sat and listened.
As soon as we got home, he was constantly escaping and chewing up my house. But over the course of 11 years together, he's turned from a crazy puppy into this caring angel.
How did you get involved in the POOCH program?
AG: My dad was a veterinarian and my parents raised and showed Saint Bernards, so my family has always deeply loved dogs. My dad died four years ago and it would've made him so happy to be able to have his dog there with him during his treatment at the end of his life.
Years ago, Bob and I were at an airport and it was clear what an effect he had on people, so it made sense to get involved in community service. Also, I'm really proud of my dog, so being able to show him off is a double win.
What is a typical shift with Bob Dylan like?
AG: When we get here, we're assigned rooms to visit, so we go see those patients and spend as much time with them as they need.
We wander the halls and a lot of times we end up visiting with people who see us passing by. In the pediatric unit, the nurses are just as interested in Bob as the kids.
Do you have memorable experiences from Bob's therapy dog career?
AG: At another hospital where we volunteer, we visited a patient who was in a coma. Bob got up into bed with her and didn't move for 30 minutes.
It was remarkable—he can sit still, but he needs feedback—he usually barks if you're not petting him. But this time he just laid there with his head on this patient.
What does Bob do when he's not volunteering?
AG: He loves the beach. We're there every week. He also made a cameo in a movie I produced.
I once took him to a sheep-herding class in Malibu where they teach your dog basic livestock-herding skills. He's not a herding breed, so he wasn't a natural, but it looked like he was having a great time.
Why do you think Bob has such a positive impact on patients?
AG: Bob makes everybody feel like there's something good about them. Everybody thinks he likes them the best. He just loves people and has such a calming influence. I'm so absurdly proud of him.
What is his favorite Bob Dylan song?
AG: Bob actually prefers Beethoven.