When Bethany and Travis Nolt decided to bring a puppy into their lives, they knew they wanted the pup's name to have "something to do" with their work. Work that transplant surgeon Charles Rosen, M.D., tells us is invaluable to Mayo Clinic's Transplant Center staff in Rochester. "Bethany and Travis are surgery recovery coordinators for LifeSource, which is the organ procurement organization that serves Minnesota and North and South Dakota," Dr. Rosen says. "They also coordinate all of the procurement trips we take outside of that three-state area. We work very closely with them and they're valued members of our transplant team."
Bethany tells us she and Travis have come to know Dr. Rosen quite well over the years, including his own long-standing desire for a puppy. "I was on a case with him when I first told him we were getting a puppy and he said, 'I want a puppy so bad, but I'm always in the operating room,'" Bethany says. "He told me that when he is home, he walks around his neighborhood with Milk Bones for all of the dogs. After hearing that I just thought, 'I wish he could have his own dog!'"
After relaying that story to Travis, he and Bethany decided they'd do the next best thing. "We thought, 'Well, Dr. Rosen would be a great name for a dog!' But we should probably check with him first,'" Bethany tells us.
When they did, Bethany says Dr. Rosen's response sealed their decision. "When I asked him if we could name our dog after him, he immediately had tears in his eyes," she says. "He was so excited. So he's kind of become our Dogfather."
A Dogfather who stays as involved as he can in the life of his basset hound namesake. "I try to see him every now and then," the human Dr. Rosen tells us of his now 3-year-old canine companion. "I still remember the first time I met him. I was out on a procurement trip with Travis and we were coming back to the Rochester airport and Bethany met us with the puppy. She handed him to me and he was climbing all over me trying to get into the pockets of my lab coat and of course licking and chewing everything he could find. It was pretty cute."
Bethany tells us that even when they're apart, the two Dr. Rosens often remain together in spirit. "When Dr. Rosen does rounds, he often wears a picture of our Dr. Rosen," she says. "There are probably more people than we can guess who know who our dog is."
While Dr. Rosen stopped short of saying having a dog named after him is his most cherished achievement, he did admit that it's one of his "favorite stories to tell. My kids, family and friends are all probably pretty tired of me showing them photos of Dr. Chuck all the time, but I think it's pretty neat."
Asked if the two Dr. Rosens share any personality traits, Bethany pointed to one example in particular. "We took our Dr. Rosen trick-or-treating dressed as a surgeon once," she says. "And just like the human Dr. Rosen, our Dr. Rosen also says to check the box to become an organ donor." (Go ahead, we'll wait.)
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