Magnus The Therapy Dog Snapped In His Pyjamas Sleeping On The Sofa Alongside Teen Girl Owner As He Grabs Some Rest Time

These viral images show Magnus the therapy dog sleeping on the sofa in his pyjamas with one of his teenage girl owners as he takes some much needed time off from visiting critically-ill children and ICU patients.

Brian Benson, a visual effects supervisor for TV and film who lives in Pound Ridge in the US state of New York, shared the images on the Instagram page ‘Magnus the Therapy Dog’, which boasts nearly 400,000 followers and numerous viral clips.

One video of Magnus sleeping on the sofa with Brian’s daughter has been viewed nearly six million times and numerous other videos on the account have also been widely watched.

Magnus, a yellow Labrador retriever, 5, and one of the family’s daughters, taking a nap in matching pyjamas, in Pound Ridge, New York, USA. (@magnusthetherapydog/Newsflash)

Brian, who lives with his wife and two daughters, said he adopted Magnus, a Labrador retriever, when he was 18 months old, adding that the pooch will turn six years old in April.

Brian told Newsflash: “Magnus and I have been a pet therapy team since 2018. We visit terminally- and critically-ill children and adults in hospitals. We also visit the patients in the trauma ICU, all of their grieving family and friends, plus the overworked hospital staff.

“We also go on visits to schools for children with emotional issues and learning disabilities. As a therapy team, we advance the physical, emotional, and social well-being of others through the use of animal-assisted interactions.

Magnus, a yellow Labrador retriever, 5, and one of the family’s daughters, taking a nap in matching pyjamas, in Pound Ridge, New York, USA. (@magnusthetherapydog/Newsflash)

“The impact is difficult to quantify, but incredibly rewarding. Regardless of the situation, Magnus always seem to know how to bring a smile to your face and put your mind at ease. It is obvious that Magnus enjoys working as a therapy dog just by seeing how excited he is to interact with anyone he meets.”

Brian said: “I have two daughters, Riley, 15, and Skyler, 13. Skyler is in the video where she is napping with him. One of Magnus’ favourite things to do is to get super cosy and cuddle with his family. The best part is that as soon as he curls up next to you, it’s insanely easy to rub Magnus to sleep, with his eyes glued shut, just snoring away.

“Everyone in my family loves to nap with Magnus whenever possible and I have caught all of them at various times passed out with him. Resting with Magnus is the most relaxing thing ever!”

Magnus, a yellow Labrador retriever, 5, trying to jump over one of the family’s daughters in Pound Ridge, New York, USA. (@magnusthetherapydog/Newsflash)

He added: “In my latest video Skyler and Magnus were passed out on the couch in our den. However, Magnus has been spotted sleeping with all of us at various times since we have had him.

“Magnus loves to dress up, it has become so common that as soon as I take out his outfits, he comes running over to get dressed.”

Brian told Newsflash: “Magnus really has the best temperament. He has a natural empathy that can’t be taught. You can teach a dog to sit, stay, shake hands etc., but you can’t teach a dog to read people’s emotions, sense their pain, and understand how to comfort them.

Magnus, a yellow Labrador retriever, 5, trying to jump over one of the family’s daughters in Pound Ridge, New York, USA. (@magnusthetherapydog/Newsflash)

“This is the part of Magnus that is just hardwired into his DNA – the ability and need to make people feel at ease and happy. When we originally adopted Magnus, the goal was for him to simply be our family pet. However, Magnus had other plans.

“Unfortunately, my oldest daughter Riley has severe juvenile arthritis that started when she was eight years old. As part of her medical regimen, I would have to give her weekly or sometimes daily injections. This was extremely stressful for my daughter and the injections would make her very agitated and anxious.

“On one of the first days that we had Magnus, when I had to give Riley her shot, Magnus intuitively knew to come lay by her side, rest his head on her lap and comfort her. No one told him to do this. He just read the room, saw a person who needed his help and he provided it, without hesitation.

Magnus, a yellow Labrador retriever, 5, taking the escalator in Pound Ridge, New York, USA. (@magnusthetherapydog/Newsflash)

“Even though there was no bond yet between him and us, as we had literally just adopted him, he was just being, well, him, nurturing, comforting and compassionate.

“This was when I realised Magnus was meant for something more and that he was too special to keep to ourselves. I immediately researched therapy dog work and enrolled us in a certification course.”

Brian said: “We never imagined Magnus would turn into an online star at all, especially as we originally never had any plans to have him appear online.

Magnus, a yellow Labrador retriever, 5, picking out his own toy, New York City, USA. (@magnusthetherapydog/Newsflash)

“Before Covid, Magnus and I would work as a pet therapy and go on in-person visits to hospitals and schools. Once COVID hit, all therapy visits were put on permanent hold, so we needed to find a way to continue to help people.

“We decided to start accounts online in order to do what we call ‘virtual therapy’. Through funny, feel-good content, our goal was to make people smile, brighten their day and give them a distraction from all of the struggles that are going on in their world.

“We have received messages from people all over the world that our content has helped with their depression, got them through the pain of losing a loved one, helped them cope with being out of work, etc.”


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