Sunday was another dreary day outside, but service dog Kayla was making sure there was plenty of sunshine inside the patient units at Akron Children’s Hospital. She’s been spreading good cheer in our Doggie Brigade since 2002. Her owners, Ken and Lori Morgan, recently found out that Kayla is one of Delta Society’s oldest Pet Partner teams working in hospitals.
At 14 years, Kayla may move slower than her “sister” Bella, who is 6, but this wise old gal proved she knows how to make a kid smile. Some of the patients we visited were especially happy to see these yellow labs in their hospital rooms because they were starting to miss their own four-legged friends at home.
Joseph, of Copley, was mighty glad to have a doggie break. Joseph has been battling brain cancer since 2002. He’s relapsed three times. At one point, he lost control in the right side of his body, and his mom says a three-legged dog in our Doggie Brigade named Gracie help make rehab very motivating for him. He has a special bag where he keeps all the trading cards he receives from our Brigade pooches. He is trying to collect them all.
At home, Joseph has a pomeranian and a great dane. His pomeranian has come to visit him at the hospital during some of his longer stays.
After an hour and a half, Kayla had made an impact on both staff and patients. And she was hungry. Linda Knight, a secretary in our hematology-oncology inpatient unit, keeps a special store of treats for moments like this. But the real treat was for our patients, who got to visit with Kayla and Bella. We are so lucky to have special volunteers like the Rogers. Thanks for making a difference!