The Josh dog gift set.

The Josh and Friends Project

For centuries dogs have been woven into the hearts of human kind. In celebrated rescues, to wartime heroism, to canine ventures into space. To countless stories of companionship, the powerful connections between dogs and people have become the stuff of legend.

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. 

I would like to personally challenge each and every American Legion post, unit and squadron 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.

If I can be of further assistance, feel free to contact me at or (765) 698-8360.

Our children are our leaders of tomorrow.

Kellis P. Allen Sr.
Detachment of Indiana
Children and Youth Commission