Akron Children’s Doggie Brigade has been wagging its way into the hearts of patient families and staff since 1992.
They’re great at easing fears and bringing smiles to kids while they’re at the hospital. They also provide a furry and welcome presence at community events.
And now, Doggie Brigade fans can learn more about this group of caring dogs through a dedicated section of Akron Children’s website.
You can find out how long each dog has been in the brigade, the canine’s breed and favorite food, as well as which hospital campus he visits.
“The hospital can be a scary place for anyone, but especially for children. Our Doggie Brigade makes kids’ visits and stays a little more comfortable,” said Cindy Duncan, Doggie Brigade adviser and supervisor.
During her 7 years overseeing the Doggie Brigade, Duncan has seen the power of the paw firsthand.
“When children need some extra support, we call in one of the dogs,” she said. “They have this calming effect on the child. It’s amazing to witness. The dogs are just filled with this unconditional love that the children can sense.”
Our Doggie Brigade helps in all areas of the hospital – from physical therapy and occupational therapy to inpatient and outpatient services. In 2014 alone, the Doggie Brigade provided 3,890 hours of “pet therapy.”
Within their ranks, 67 dogs represent a variety of breeds, from a trio of large, lovable Bernese Mountain dogs to a mini dachshund named Vinnie who loves snacking on cheese.
The tallest canine is Dante, a Briard that stands 3 ft. 4 inches, and the smallest is Molly, a Yorkiepoo that’s just 9 inches.