At Akron Children’s Hospital, a Cute Therapy Pony Gives Children Hope and Joy – Animal Fans World

At Akron Children’s Hospital, a Cute Therapy Pony Gives Children Hope and Joy

These therapy pets are making a triumphant comeback to help kids relax and have fun while improving their health.

Willie Nelson has returned to the road after spending 400 days seeking sanctuary at home. His listeners? numerous young patients at the Ohio’s Akron Children’s Hospital. Everywhere they go, he and his merry band are the source of hugs, smiles, and stress release.

No, we’re not referring to the Red-Headed Stranger; rather, we’re referring to Willie Nelson, a miniature horse who is 11 years old, and a group of devoted therapy dogs from the Doggie Brigade. This group of two- and four-legged cheerleaders has volunteered for close to 30 years and has assisted children in recovering. Over 350 dogs (and one miniature pony!) have been welcomed to each floor of the hospital by the staff and patients during that time, who were overjoyed to get wags, snuffles, and kisses!

Hundreds of virtual visits were made by the Doggie Brigade throughout the epidemic, but nothing comes close to the astonishment and joy that a cute, fuzzy visitor brings to a kid who is recovering from a life-threatening disease. Just picture the excitement when, in the middle of July, the pitter-patter of tiny paws (and hooves!) resounded throughout the hospital halls.

The Doggie Brigade adviser and volunteer office organizer is Whitney Romine. “I brought Willie Nelson to the transitional care floor on the day we brought him back. In order for Willie to see as many kids as possible securely, we had arranged for the youngsters to come up to their doorways “She explains to Daily Paws. “When I turned to look, I saw that the staff was also stopping by. It appeared as though I had turned around and the entire floor was occupied by guests who had come to meet Willie.”

In addition to Willie, there is also Tyrus, a Wheaten terrier, and Murphy, a standard Schnauzer. Since 2018, the three companies have worked as a team.

Studies on animal-assisted therapy confirm how interacting with dogs, horses, cats, and other big and small animals helps youngsters in hospitals. Stress, anxiety, disorientation, and perceived pain are all decreased by these encounters. When a furry buddy just wants to be beside them, bringing hope, calm, and comfort with a few slobbery kisses, these kids let down their guard, despite the fact that they frequently appear brave to us. Children and their families are able to forget about their illnesses and misery after just ten minutes of this unconditional care.

When the Doggie Brigade returned, many people expressed how delighted they were to see them, according to Romine. “When people first saw them, there was this expression of astonished amazement. They then surrounded the dogs, greeting them and patting them.”

And everyone benefits from a crucial mood boost, not just kids. “People can bond and feel protected with therapy dogs and other such animals. After a visit from a therapy animal, I frequently hear staff members say, “Thank you, I truly needed this,” “Romine declares. “You can really sense the employees relax when they see Willie or other members of the Doggie Brigade; it’s like a weight has been lifted.” After everything they’ve been through these many, many months, they deserve it!

The Doggie Brigade’s return is gradually picking up steam with Milk-assistance. Bone’s The tour itinerary will be expanded as circumstances permit. And many worthy youngsters will be seated in the top front rows!


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