Hospitals can be scary places, especially for children. Hospitals that depend on therapy dogs are increasing, to cheer up patients while they’re in the hospital. These loving creatures have a special power to help make it easier for the children being in a strange place. A children hospital in the UK has taken this to a whole new level with 6 golden retrievers team affectionately called the “dog-tors.”
A kid in the hospital 7 years ago was very upset wearing a surgical mask. He wasn’t used to covering his face with a mask. He objected and wriggled until the staff brought him a therapy dog to distract him.
“One of the therapy dogs was happy to poke his nose in a spare mask and have a sniff,” said volunteer Lyndsey Uglow. The child became calm once he saw the dog wearing a mask. The staff saw this as an inspiration that dogs can make children overcome their fears.
The staff creates videos of the dogs undergoing tests so children can take it easy. This is not happening actually, but they pose for an X-Ray and sit to check blood tests. Jessie says she’s particularly fond of demonstrating echocardiograms. “She is very happy to lie on her back and have her tummy rubbed,” she explained.
Just knowing that the dogs are at the hospital makes young patients more willing to go in for medical evaluations!
Staff members say that all patients even the saddest be in “surprise and giggles” when they see dog-tors. Furthermore, studies show that having a dog while having some stressful procedures reduces anxiety in all people whatever the age. Just having a dog companion in the hospital makes it easier for sick kids to recover! “The children seem to trust them, and for many, the fact that the dog has done it too (had an X-ray) persuades them that it is ok,” Jessie explained.
You know dogs have unlimited love and healing potentials just when you see a story like this. They can help us heal, physically and mentally. Let’s spread this to start the new trend of dog-tors to help sick kids all over the world.