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Without further adieu….please meet "The Real Dog Therapists of Dallas!"
At Baylor we look to put smiles on our patients faces any way we can. Although providing quality care is our main objective, we are always happy to offer our patients alternative types of treatment that may help them during their recovery. And sometimes, bringing our furry friends to visit (and work with) our patients does just the trick!
The Animal Assisted Therapy program began with one sheltie, Dusty, visiting patients once a week. Since then, the number of Baylor therapy dogs has continued to grow to keep up with the increasing demand for this type of therapy. Currently, we have close to 90 specially trained therapy dogs that volunteer 1-4 hours at a time to work with our patients. The dogs are used not only for specific therapy treatments, but also to simply visit with patients to brighten their day.
For some head injury patients, it has been the first thing they respond to when emerging from a coma. For others, being with a dog is what motivates them to attempt to speak when they find it so difficult and frustrating. Others will work their arms and hands that are weak and uncoordinated to pet the dog or throw the ball.
BIR has a resident therapy dog, Eli, who is often seen playing fetch with patients. In addition to Eli, five other dogs spend time at BIR. Baylor therapy dogs also visit patients at the cancer center and heart hospital waiting rooms, Our Children’s House (OCH) rehab unit and outpatient therapy clinics, as well as Baylor surgical units in Irving, Plano, Grapevine, Frisco, Garland, Waxahachie and Coppell.
For more information on this program please contact program coordinator Linda Marler at 214.820.9507, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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