The Children's Hospital of San Antonio has now grown by four furry feet! Recently, our hospital welcomed a facility dog. The pup named Marcus is the first member of the PUPPYatrics team in our hospital's Child Life Department.
Marcus is a lab/golden mix, is two years old and was generously donated by: Asher and Zoe Reilly and the Reilly Family Foundation. He came to us from the organization Canine Assistants and its Children's Hospital Initiative. The dogs from this program are not like others from normal therapy dog programs. Because of their specialized teaching and calm disposition, these dogs are allowed special access to patients in almost all areas of the hospital.
A facility dog serves many roles, including:
• Providing emotional support and comfort to patients and their families to aid in coping with the stressors of hospitalization;
• Normalizing the hospital environment;
• Helping patients reach their treatment goals by providing support during procedures, encouraging movement, and promoting play;
• Providing support for pain management;
• Providing support to staff to aid in reducing caregiver fatigue and increasing morale; and
• Offering a sense of unconditional love and acceptance
"After months of preparation and training, we are thrilled to have Marcus here at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio," said Allison Sharawi, Facility Dog Coordinator. "Our newest associate is a win-win for our patients and associates. Marcus will make hospitalizations easier for the children and their families, while boosting the spirits of our amazing teams during these challenging times."
Marcus is already making a huge impression at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio. During his first few days, he met associates and patients, explored the hospital, and received a Blessing of the Paws from our Spiritual Care team.
Learn more about our new PUPPYatrics Program and follow the adventures of Marcus on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/puppyatrics