Beloved K9 dog is back on the job after surgery at BluePearl


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A beloved K9 dog is back on the job at a Michigan hospital and is making children smile again, following surgery he received at BluePearl.

“Cain is back and raring to go,” said Officer John McGarry, a security officer who works with Cain every day at Spectrum Health hospital in Grand Rapids. “He loves his job.”

All photos courtesy of Health Beat, the news service of Spectrum Health.

Cain has a couple of different roles in his work. A big part of his job is safety. He helps Officer McGarry patrol the hospital and is also trained in techniques such as explosives detection.

But Cain also has a soft side. Every day, he walks the hospital and meets children who have come to Spectrum in need of expert medical care. Many of those kids are overjoyed to see a loveable dog with nice soft fur who truly enjoys being around kids.

“Most of them love him, they kind of think he’s a big teddy bear,” McGarry said. “He brings out the smiles in people in the worst situations.”

Cain is so well-appreciated that he is now one of three finalists for the American Humane Hero Award contest in the law enforcement category. More information, including how to vote, can be found here.

But recently, Cain the hospital dog was the one who needed medical care.

Spectrum Health police dog Cain in the lobby of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 

McGarry noticed some physical changes in Cain and brought him to BluePearl for consultation with Dr. Amanda Conkling, a board-certified veterinary surgeon.

After discussion, Conkling operated on Cain and removed an anal sac. In the process, she removed a growth that was suspected of being cancerous, but which thankfully turned out to be benign scar tissue. “I’m very appreciative for what BluePearl did,” McGarry said.

Conkling said she truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Cain and McGarry.

“It’s just an amazing bond that you can see between the two of them,” Conkling said. “It’s nice to see that what we’re doing carries over to the human side as well. We’re helping Cai

Spectrum Health police dog Cain at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 

n and he’s helping all these children in the hospital.”

Spectrum Health Police Officer John McGarry and K-9 Cain cross Michigan St. in the Spectrum Health Medical Center.