Health First Assistance Dogs Paco, Lana and Jammer to Be Featured in Coffee Table Book

By  //  March 4, 2021

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Images and the dogs’ workaday stories will be included in 'Tails of the Space Coast, Vol. 2'

Photographer Krystal Hise snaps a photo of Health First assistance dogs Lana, Jammer and Paco. Intensively trained and extremely cute, assistance dogs bring smiles and sometimes relief to Health First hospital patients each time they clock in. (Health First image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Paco, Lana and Jammer take their turn at stardom in ‘Tails of the Space Coast,’ which will be printed later this year.

Intensively trained and extremely cute, assistance dogs bring smiles and sometimes relief to Health First hospital patients each time they clock in.

Now, the publishers of a canine coffee table book hope they bring that magnetism to the page and help generate charitable contributions for their alma mater, Canine Companions for Independence in Orlando.

Paco, 10, Lana, 7, and Jammer, 3, posed for photographer Krystal Hise in and around Health First’s Viera Hospital last month.

These images and the dogs’ workaday stories will be included in “Tails of the Space Coast, Vol. 2,” set to go on sale later this year.

Krystal hopes book sales will raise $5,000 to support Canine Companions for Independence, the nonprofit that trains assistance dogs and matches them with people with special physical or emotional needs, free of charge.

Gail Buckmiller, laboratory supervisor, at a Tails of Space Coast vol. II coffee table book shoot at Viera Hospital. (Health First image)

“I love dogs. I think they make the world a better place,” she said.

The limited-edition coffee table book will showcase pets from around the area, but the first chapter will be given over to “what Canine Companions has meant in the community” – and Paco, Lana and Jammer are star examples.

“Originally, our assistance dogs were an opportunity that Canine Companions for Independence gave to Health First for patients, to help with their therapeutic recovery, but it’s gone way beyond that now,” says Joelle Boccabella, Manager of Volunteer Services for Health First’s Community Hospitals, and also Jammer’s owner.

“The interaction with our Associates is priceless, to see the stress just melt away. Up at Cape Canaveral Hospital, I had an Associate actually sit down on the floor and just cry. She said, ‘I needed this today. I have to let this out, and he’s allowing me.’ ”

Photographer Krystal Hise gives Jammer a scratch behind the ears. (Health First image)

Lana and Paco were also joined by their owners, Karen Hersing, LCSW, and Dianna Green, Clinical Operations Director at Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center The dogs were photographed in front of the Viera Hospital sign out front, and then inside with Health First associates.

“For a patient or family member,” Dianna says, “a visit from these pups allows them for one moment to forget they are at the hospital. They fill a basic need – love.”

To read about developments and happenings around Health First, visit HF.org

Dogs Lana (left) with System Security Manager Terry McClendon and Jammer (right) with RN Kaylee Adams at a Tails of Space Coast vol. II coffee table book shoot at Viera Hospital. (Health first image)
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