Better Chicago’s April Dog of the Month: Ellie

Meet Ellie, a therapy dog at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, who lives in Lakeshore East and is polite as can be. Ellie’s mom, Emily, answered some questions we had about Ellie, and the good work she is doing.

Who: Eleanor (Ellie) Roosevelt

About: 5-year-old Goldendoodle

Lives In: Chicago born and raised, Ellie lives in the Lakeshore East neighborhood with her mom, Emily.


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How did you decide on Ellie’s name?

I wanted a female historical name for Ellie and Eleanor Roosevelt suited her most.

Tell us about Ellie’s work as a therapy dog.

Ellie volunteers at Lurie Children’s Hospital and visits with Lurie patients several times per month. She absolutely loves seeing the patients and their families and can’t wait to put her therapy dog vest on and get into the hospital.

Ellie also volunteers as part of a therapy dog team that responds to crises, such as natural disasters and more traumatic events. She has volunteered at the annual Chicago Police Memorial (see her photo in front of the horses below) and fundraiser for Swim Across America. She has also volunteered at Ronald McDonald House, Rush University Medical Center, Edward Hospital, NICU reunion events, and Misericordia. She knows when it’s time to work versus when it’s time to have fun and she truly loves her “job.”

Ellie Chicago Dog of the Month April

How does the stay-at-home mandate affect Ellie’s work—and yours?

Ellie is currently not visiting the hospital right now, both her therapy organization and the hospital stopped all volunteering.  Typically I do not work from home so Ellie isn’t exactly used to it but she’s doing better and enjoying a lot of attention and naps, though the shelter-in-place order—and living in the loop—has made it difficult to find a place to walk her given the lakefront and riverwalk are both closed.

Does Ellie have any quirks or interesting traits?

Ellie can bark if you ask her to “say please.”

Does Ellie love exercise?

I got a large dog to run outside with. Ellie is about as anti-exercise as you can get in a dog. She likes to sit in the grass, watch people, sit with people—but she does not enjoy exercising.

How will you celebrate her Better Chicago Dog of the Month feature?

Post on her Instagram!

Dog lovers, we want to hear from you! Submit your dog for our Dog of the Month by contacting or simply fill out this form!

More from Better:

Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.

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