Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is all about their furry friends, AKA their beloved canines, reports Detroit News. If you aren’t greeted instantly by Hope and Benson, two of the adorable hospital therapy dogs, you definitely can’t miss an oil painting of the hospital’s first and dearest dog. Staffers at the hospital continue to rely on therapy dogs to bring love and a calming factor to patients, and it’s been a hit.
In 2009 they brought on 12-and-a-half-year-old Black English Labrador to the team. He was known to be the first therapy canine in the state and is the honored dog on the hospital’s entrance wall. It has been reported that dogs have been significant in helping other environments, such as retirement homes, schools, libraries and more. They knew it was time to bring these dogs’ “emotional medicine” to these patients.
Being in a hospital whether you’re a patient or family of a patient, can be extremely difficult and stressful. Yet, with the therapy dogs, those worries seem to melt a little bit for a few moments. Many patients need the love and look from non-judgmental eyes.
Patients are allowed to request a dog or even bring in their own pets during specified visiting hours. They also might just have a surprise visit from Hope or Benson as the two work five days a week. They usually walk around from 8 AM to 12 PM, and happily stop to be pet every few steps.
Alexandria Barch is a patient at West Bloomfield whose life has been positively impact by dogs. Alexandria suffers from Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disease that affects the entire body, preventing a patient from performing daily tasks independent of a caregiver. Alexandria has had a golden retriever her whole life, and the dog can, without a doubt, bring a smile to her face.
Studies have shown that therapy dogs can reduce a patient’s blood pressure, strengthen cardiovascular system, as well as reduce pain. Not to mention all the emotional impacts therapy animals can have, alleviating anxiety, stress, pressure and more.
Hopefully more hospitals learn from the success of therapy dogs and consider providing their patients with similar services as well.
Want to learn more about support dogs? Check out The Top Benefits of Getting an Emotional Support Dog on Little Doggies Rules.