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Pediatrics Goes to the Dogs...

18-Feb-2016

Well, in this case, one dog specifically. Maggie the therapy dog celebrated her 11th birthday with a full crowd of patients and staff from Pediatrics and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Maggie the dog
Maggie celebrates with her human mom Elaine at the RGH on February 10. Photo credit: Anne Lindemann

Maggie, a border collie, has been visiting patients and staff on these two units for over a year and a half, so it’s no surprise that she wanted to celebrate her birthday along with those whose smiles shine bright when she’s around.

The party wouldn’t be complete without decorations, pizza and ice cream cake, all of which Maggie eagerly took part in. For one little boy, sharing pizza with his new furry friend will be a moment to remember and for another, feeding Maggie her very own doggy-ice cream sundae was the highlight of the party.

Maggie
Maggie celebrates her birthday with a pediatric patient. Photo credit: Anne Lindemann

Therapy is nothing new in hospitals, but Maggie brings something no other therapy can deliver. A few minutes curled up with the pup on their beds or playing on the floor elevates the mood of so many children.In a study out of the University of Wisconsin, pet therapy has been found to promote social interactions and behaviors, increase emotional comfort and decrease anxiety.

For children, hospitals can be a scary place and having a fur visitor that is there to provide comfort can be just what the doctor ordered. Countless children admitted to the Regina General Hospital have been recipients of Maggie’s caring paws and occasionally her kisses.

Maggie
Maggie celebrates with an icecream treat. Photo credit: Anne Lindemann