Josh & Friends

At Lange Animal Hospital, we firmly believe in contributing to Knoxville through community involvement. The non-profit project closest to our hearts is Josh and Friends, which was developed by our very own Dr. Randy Lange. He created Josh and Friends to help alleviate the stress that children experience when they’re in the hospital.

joshbookHow Josh & Friends Is Making a Difference

The Josh and Friends project began as a way to become involved in the Knoxville community, but it has since been launched nationwide. As part of the Josh and Friends project, children receive a book entitled “I’ll Be O.K.” When children read the book, they meet Josh, a golden retriever puppy, and learn all about the adventures he went through he was sick and how he became well. This helps to reassure children who are nervous about their own hospital stay.

Along with the book, children receive their very own plush toy puppy named “Josh.” This cuddly companion can remain with them during their hospital stay and experience everything that the children do. For example:

Josh Hospital in Knoxville
  • When a child checks into the hospital and receives their wrist I.D. bracelet, Josh can get his own I.D. bracelet (if hospital policy allows).
  • When the patient has to have a test, such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan, Josh can accompany the child while the test is being completed.
  • When a blood sample must be taken, Josh also gets a bandage placed over the same spot where the child had their blood drawn.
  • If surgery is required, Josh can accompany the child to places where parents are not permitted.

In short, Josh is there to provide a sense of comfort, security, and companionship throughout the child’s hospital stay and beyond.

The Inspiration Behind Josh & Friends

The inspiration for this special project came from Dr. Lange’s daughter’s experience with surgery. Years ago, Dr. Lange’s daughter, Jessica, had to undergo a tonsillectomy, but she was terrified about the procedure. He was frustrated by the lack of materials to help explain surgery and hospitalization to children, so he created his own.

The GI Josh Project

Every day, thousands of brave men and women leave their families to defend our country. Oftentimes, these families have to make major life adjustments in the absence of their loved ones, including learning how to deal with the loneliness and fear. It was this reality that gave birth to the GI Josh Project. The GI Josh Project chronicles the journey of Josh, his friend Smudge, and a young girl named Cassie. Cassie is lonely and heartbroken after her father is deployed abroad to the Middle East. Together, Josh and Smudge find coping tools that help Cassie and her family during this difficult time, until her father’s heroic return.

For American Legion Family Members: To receive your GI Josh promo code, please email