April 17, 2020
With wagging tails, smiling faces and even a rear sniff or two, volunteers from Sanford Medical Center’s therapy dog program were out and ready to rock to give patients something to smile about on a cold April afternoon.
Mask-clad volunteers with their playful pooches lined up to walk in the therapy pet parade Wednesday, April 15, in front of Sanford’s main entrance.
They know this well — they spent quite a bit of time there themselves on the ninth floor with their daughter, Emma.
“This girl right here is a special one,” Becki says, referring to her English chocolate lab, Coco, who is dutifully sitting by her husband Rex’s side. The couple got Coco after their daughter passed away at 14 years old, just two and a half years ago.
“We spent many days on the ninth floor,” Becki says. “(Coco) has been excited all day. I’m not sure if she read the email or what, but she’s been excited all day.” The staff at Sanford works to create the not-so-exciting aspect of being in the hospital a bit happier for its patients every day, and the therapy pet parade was just one of those things to make the day a bit brighter. “It’s really just to give back,” Becki says. “They make the kids’ floor as fun as they can. There’s a lot that goes on there that’s not fun. Just to know they’re watching down, we just want to bring (them) a smile.”
Therapy dogs have a big job to do, bringing comfort to their patients, as well as their owners.
“Dogs are amazing,” Becki says. “And important to the healing process — for both in- and outpatients.”
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