akronchildrens.org

Grateful to be a part of the Doggie Brigade

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My dog is Tinsley, a white Bichon, and we are members of the Doggie Brigade at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus in the Mahoning Valley.

Every time we visit, we leave with a warm feeling, knowing that we made a difference in the life of someone we met.

i-v98jfGK-LThe ER is always interesting because of the tears and fears. On a recent visit, a little guy was crying. When I knocked and asked if a visit from a dog would help, he almost flew off the gurney.

His mother stopped him and told him he could not cry or he would scare the dog. He quickly wiped his tears and began petting Tinsley. And then the smile appeared.

One time we were asked to visit a patient because the nurse was trying to start an IV. When we went to the exam room, we were greeted by an excited child and a grateful parent.

More than one parent has said to me, “That is the first time my child has smiled since we got here.”

The dogs have such a positive effect on the parents and staff, not just the kids. I’m blessed to have this opportunity. This volunteer work doesn’t feel like work at all!