Coming home to snuggle with your favorite pup after a hard day’s work is the perfect way to wind down. But what if you don’t get to come home because your work is just too demanding?
Well, that’s often the reality for hospital workers, and that’s exactly why one hospital decided to bring their own resident puppy therapist on board to help look after the staff’s mental health. Shiloh, a three-year-old golden retriever, was even given a uniform and an official name tag, just like the rest of the hospital’s staff.
The program was created by Shiloh’s mum, Mary Justice, along with the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, Beth Steinberg. Both of their young pups were already training as therapy dogs for patients when Mary and Beth decided that there should be a similar service for the healthcare workers as well as the patients.
Shiloh is at the hospital around three days a week, and needless to say, she’s a real hit amongst the staff, who are amazed at Shilohs’ ability to notice when somebody has had a tough day and needs some special puppy attention. When the Coronavirus pandemic forced the program to close down, the hospital workers missed the therapy dogs so much that Beth and Mary worked extra hard to implement special measures and health protocols so that the pups could return to the hospital.
The Buckeye Paws program, launched in early March, allows hospital staff to request personal appointments with Shiloh or any of the other dogs in the program to help them reduce the anxiety that comes from such a high-stress workplace.
Feature Image Source: Buckeye Paws