The cutest four-legged visitors brought the holiday spirit to the patients in the Texas Children’s Hospital. The hospital shared photos of the lovely visitors on their Facebook page.
They were dressed in matching Buffalo plaid pajamas and walked the hallway with their handlers who wore matching PJs.
The dogs, all golden retrievers named Pinto, Pluto, Elsa, and Bailey are the ambassadors for the Texas Children’s Pawsitive Play program.
It’s created to boost the emotional health of patients and their families.
Dogs in Pajamas Bring the Holiday Spirit in a Children’s Hospital
The dogs also brought holiday cards for the patients and one mom said that she immediately noticed a difference in her daughter after the dogs’ visit. Since her daughter has been here due to a stroke, her expressions weren’t many.
However, when Pinto came in, she jumped out of the bed and it was amazing seeing this according to the girl’s mom. The dogs aren’t usually wearing pajamas; however, they’re full-time employees at the Texas Children’s Hospital thanks to their Pawsitive Play program.
What Kind of Program Is the Pawsitive Play?
This program is created to better the emotional well-being of the patients of this hospital and their families.
It’s animal-assisted therapy with therapy dogs that provide the necessary support to the people having a hard time dealing with their hospital stay, a new diagnosis, or some medical procedure.
These dogs are specially bred and later trained to work as service dogs in a pediatric hospital environment and get a year and a half of training before starting their working roles at the hospital.
They work alongside specialists for child life and are also in coordination with a multi-disciplinary team and provide therapeutic interventions and emotional support for the patients, their families, and the staff.
Same as other employees in the hospital, these dogs also have a badge and their lunch break.
They spend their time outside of their vests playing with their toys and with each other. To ensure they’re always good-looking, these dogs are groomed on a weekly basis and their paws are wiped daily.
Data from studies show that animal-assisted therapy has plenty of benefits, including better emotional health, happiness, relaxation, healing, and adjustment to hospitals, higher self-confidence, and reduced anxiousness and perception of fear, isolation, and pain.