Josh is a loving Golden Retriever whose tail never stops wagging. In his lifetime, Josh has logged thousands of air and land miles criss-crossing America bringing hope and courage to children who have to go into hospitals. Josh lives with Dr. Randy Lange, a veterinarian in Knoxville, Tennessee, and his family.
Josh’s story became public soon after Dr. Lange’s daughter, Jessica, was scheduled for a tonsillectomy and was terrified of having surgery. Like every parent, Dr. Lange hated to see his daughter terrified of her upcoming surgery and was frustrated at the lack of materials available that explained surgery at a child’s level. 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” at Dr. Rick’s animal hospital.
In real life, Josh is a beautiful Golden Retriever who has spent most of his life cheering up children in hospitals across the United States and promoting Josh and Friends. He is a fit seventy-five pounds, with a beautiful, lush hair-coat that keeps Dr. Lange busy with daily brushing and grooming. His favorite past time (other than visiting children) is roughhousing with Dr. Lange and fetching his toys (hundreds of times if his human playmate can hold up). He has only two tricks: He gives a great “high five” and can bark on command with his soft “inside voice” or his loud “outside voice”!
Josh’s one weakness is plush toys—if he gets one, forget about taking it out of his mouth—hydraulic spreaders could not pry his jaws apart as he sits innocently staring at you, wagging his tail, wondering why you would attempt to remove the plush toy currently lodged in his mouth (the only plush to escape his grip is, of course, the Josh plush pup!).
Originally from Snohomish, Washington, Josh moved to Knoxville, Tennessee at 10 weeks of age and began an intensive training program with a professional trainer and Dr. Lange. After training every day for 10 months, Josh and Dr. Lange took their first trip to encourage children who were victims of a devastating tornado in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the spring of 1999. Josh is currently the only four-legged official CMN “Champion” and joins many other celebrity and professional athlete “Champions” who lend their efforts to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and local CMN children’s hospitals.