In the past two years, TGH has welcomed two new pediatric team members - both with some fur!
Thanks to grant support from PetSmart Charities and other private donors like you, TGH Children’s Hospital employs two (2) full-time pediatric facility dogs, Belle and Millie, to provide animal-assisted therapy for pediatric patients. Belle and Millie work with inpatients, pediatric trauma and rehabilitation patients, pediatric day hospital patients, and more. They are accompanied by Child Life Specialists who are trained to incorporate their services into patient visits.
Belle and Millie's responsibilities include providing companionship and comfort during minor procedures and scans, increase feelings of security, well-being and comfort for patients after traumatic events like car accidents or family separation scenarios, support for patients and family at end-of life bereavement, non-pharmacological support for pain management and intervening in rehabilitation treatment in activities of daily living or achieving specific therapy goals and functional outcomes.
One of Belle and Millie's first pediatric patient visits was Gavin.
For the past few years, Gavin has been receiving IVIg infusions every 28 days. Gavin dreads these infusions and, despite everyone's best efforts, each session has been full of tears, kicking, and screaming. Until he met Belle, who started at TGH in 2020. With Belle by his side, Gavin’s worries are lifted and he's able to tolerate his infusions without the fear that usually consumes him. After his first infusion with Belle, Gavin said, "It was 10 times better, no wait, 30 times better!” We’re so happy for this new friendship and we couldn’t be luckier to have this four-legged team member at TGH. Since Nov. 2021, when Millie joined the team, Gavin and his fellow patients often enjoy joint visits to help distract them during treatment!
More stories and articles about Belle and Millie:
To read more stories about Belle and Millie's role at TGH, follow them on Facebook:
Click here to follow Belle. Click here to follow Millie.
You can also find them on Instagram by following @BelleValorTGH and @MillieValor
To read an article from TGH's Rehab Services newsletter, click here.