American hospitals’ facility dogs’ important role in childcare

Some American hospitals enjoy the benefit of “facility dogs”. These are highly trained animals, usually Labradors. Their training, carried out by Canine Companions, a non-profit group, costs $50,000. At the point of their employment, they have learned 40 commands.

They are trained to employ a variety of skills including turning on lights, passing playing cards, opening drawers, lying still on a patient’s lap during uncomfortable procedures, fetching bottles of glue for patients who are enjoying arts and crafts and jumping into a toy wagon so that children can pull the dog around while working on their mobility.

Facility dog Parks

Facility dog Parks. Photo in public domain.

One such dog is a Labrador retriever called ‘Parks’ (see above). He is two-years-old. Parks received two years training and was picked from more than 20 candidates. Two years in dog terms is longer than the training provided to a fully-fledged human doctor!

Another at Johns Hopkins all children’s Hospital in Baltimore is Brea, who is tasked with distracting and soothing children while receiving an intravenous line or an MRI scan.

Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York has three facility dogs.

Kim Burbage, a child-life specialist at Orlando Health Alan Palmer said that, “We wanted a dog that could be really calm, for soothing in situations such as in the intensive care unit but we also needed a dog that’s ready to play.”

He said that if a child is in isolation and therefore cannot have contact with their facility dog, he arranges a video call between patient and dog. He said, “We make them posters, wishing them well, with his paw print and pictures, to keep the connection going.”

Rescue crews give a rescue dog killed when searching for survivors of Turkey's earthquakes a ceremonial send-off

Rescue team honour the life of a rescue dog killed when searching for survivors of Turkey’s earthquakes

Rescuers gave a rescue dog killed when searching for survivors of Turkey's earthquakes a ceremonial sendoff. 'Proteo' was a rescue ...
Read More
Dog in Russia warms up on a pipe carrying hot water

-31F/-35C in Yakutsk, Russia. Heat pipe warms Siberian husky

This is an amusing photo but I guess also instructive to someone like me. Firstly, it tells us how bloody ...
Read More
Scruff picks up yet another plastic bottle

“Scruff” the eco-dog fetches plastic bottles for recycling

NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: Scruff is a border collie, a dog breed known for intelligence. He is using his intelligence to ...
Read More
Abused dog, Buddy, helps police talk about their troubles

Buddy, a horrifically abused dog is now a welfare dog supporting traumatised police officers

NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: This is a story about the forgiveness inherent in all dogs. Buddy, who looks like a cute ...
Read More
Dogs in the office are considered to be highly beneficial to employees and the dog.

Wellbeing drive at major law firm includes bringing dogs to the office

A prominent, major British law firm, Slaughter and May, will allow their lawyers to bring their dogs to the office ...
Read More
Exon a black labrador was part of the Canine Crisis Response team serving relatives of victims of the Uvalde school shooting

Canine therapy dogs step in to help those traumatised by America’s shooting massacres

Since the Uvalde school shooting in which nineteen children and two teachers were killed by a single shooter with a ...
Read More
Kent and his dog guide Faldo

Man with guide dog ordered out of Marks & Spencer store by security guard

NEWS AND COMMENT-MORTLAKE, SOUTHWEST LONDON: Dave Kent, 62, is blind and he has a golden retriever blind dog, Faldo. He ...
Read More

You may also like...