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Children and Youth

Josh Dogs & The American Legion Family

Around the world, cuddly canines known as “Therapy Dogs” visit hospitals to help relieve a patient’s anxiety and fear with wet kisses and unconditional love. As an extension of that mission, the Josh and Friends Project is emerging to national attention with the ability to impact the lives of even more children by introducing the book “I’ll Be O.K.” and the cuddly stuffed animal named “Josh.”  Our children are overcoming the fear and anxiety of being in the hospital and feeling alone, so the Josh and Friends Project is helping to transform anxious hospital stays for children.

The story of Josh originated when Dr. Randy Lange, a veterinarian from Knoxville, Tenn., was frustrated at the lack of materials available that explained surgery at a child’s level. His daughter was having tonsillectomy surgery, and she was scared. So Dr. Lange’s concern for his daughter and other children led him to write “I’ll Be O.K.,” a story about Josh’s surgery and his adventure in getting well.

In the spring of 1999, Josh and Dr. Lange took their first trip to Oklahoma City, Okla., to visit and encourage children who were victims of a devastating tornado. They still continue to visit hospitals and events to this day.

The book, “I’ll Be O.K.,” is $14.95 and the gift set is $39.95, which includes the book, the Josh dog and a doghouse. To learn more about the Josh and Friends Project or to order a gift set, visit You can also email or call 1-877-455-2365.

Every Squadron, Unit, and Post is encouraged to purchase at least one Josh dog and take it to your local hospital and help a child that is going through a rough and scary time. Present them with a reminder that they are not going through it alone. This is not only a way to help a child, but also a way to let people outside our organization know that The American Legion family is here to help our communities any way we possibly can.

For additional information see the links below:

Order Information

Josh Dogs Media Kit


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