I remember when my parents first brought a pup home. He was a black beagle with brown and white spots. I was elated. His name was Woofie.
I’m imagining that is the exact feeling the kids at the Children’s Hospital got when they were introduced to Dilly. A two-year-old Labrador and the hospital’s first full time trained facility dog. I’m positive that having a dog around will help ease any anxiety or worry that the kids may have.
The pup will, undoubtedly, motivate the kids to get out of bed and take walks with him, and playing with the dog is a form of exercise. Dilly is also trained to help with tasks such as teaching the children how to swallow their tablets and to keep them calm during medical interventions.
This is what Elizabeth Olson, Dilly’s handler had to say about Dilly’s role in the hospital.
“So he’s able to help with speech pathology sessions – physical therapy, occupational therapy. If they’re working on helping a child with their hands, they can brush Dilly with a special brush. He can also help with coping and normalizing the hospital experience. He’ll play board games with some of the kids if they’re having a hard time coping, and he also helps kids who are afraid of dogs or haven,’” She said.
And wait until you hear the inspiring stories that are already unraveling.
“We’ve had some really interesting interactions where kids who haven’t been speaking during speech sessions will say things like, ‘Hi, Dilly,’ and start speaking,” says Olson.
This is why we cannot conclude the story without acknowledging the people that made this project a success. Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation and Hope in the Air Foundation, all credit to you guys for funding the project. Also, a special mention goes to Susquehanna Service Dogs who raised and trained Dilly. You did well.
Feature Image Source: Dunkin’