Comfort can come in all shapes and sizes, and patients at Ascension Providence in Waco can vouch for that. The Ascension Providence Pet Therapy Program is one of the many ways that we bring personal care to children and adults alike. Through pet therapy, dogs visit children and adults at Ascension Providence, lifting spirits and calming nerves. By engaging with community members and pet owners, our patients can share in the simple yet profound joy of connecting with a beloved animal.
The Healing Benefits of Pet Therapy
Spending time with a furry four-legged friend isn’t only fun; there are physical, mental and emotional benefits that can come from being with a gentle dog. For kids awaiting surgery, a visit with a sweet pooch can help them pass the time and lap up some puppy love, which can be a welcome distraction. Dog owner Mandi Barnes brings Remington to the hospital for that very reason.
“The hospital can be a very scary place and being able to see a dog, which is not a common thing in the hospital, breaks up the monotony and breaks up the day,” Barnes said. “Remington’s job is mainly to make people smile and forget why they are here.”
A Shelter for All
The Ascension Providence Pet Therapy Program has 16 pet partner teams, and each therapy dog is trained especially to interact with people in hospitals. Ascension Providence requires all dogs and their owners to be registered through Pet Partners and remain up-to-date on training and certification. Many dogs come from Fuzzy Friends Rescue, a no-kill shelter that cares for all animals until they are adopted, bringing the notion of personal care full circle. The dogs receive a loving home and brighten the lives of their owners as well as the lives of the children and adults at Ascension Providence.