February 16, 2024

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s facility dog Squid to appear on “Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala,” airing Feb. 21

Squid, the facility dog for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and his handler, Leslie Grissim, MA, facility dog coordinator, are set to make their red-carpet debut Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The Monroe Carell duo will be featured as part of Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala, airing on CBS (WTVF) at 8 p.m. CST. The variety special will include musical performances by Dolly Parton, Carly Pearce, Lainey Wilson, and more, along with a one-of-a-kind furry runway.

During the gala, stylish pups will work the runway wearing the latest doggy fashion trends and Dolly’s iconic looks from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Glastonbury and more. Along with Squid, the special highlights several standout social super pups including Doug The Pug, Pooch of NYC, Noodles the Poodle and Tika the Iggy.

Squid and Leslie’s segment, which also features several of the hospital’s patients, showcases the work he does as a facility dog at Monroe Carell.

The Facility Dog Program at Monroe Carell was established through collaboration with Mars Petcare to support a full-time facility dog and a staff position for coordination of the program, with the overall goal of showing the positive impact a facility dog can have on patients, families and staff.

Squid, a Canine Companions for Independence-certified facility dog, began working at Monroe Carell in February 2020.

To view a clip of the special and catch a glimpse of Squid, click here.


Squid and his handler, Leslie Grissim, facility dog coordinator, appear on the red carpet in advance of “Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala.”