NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital is getting some four-legged full-time staff members.
Two new in-residence service dogs are joining the hospital next year through the Joy in Childhood Foundation.
“This just means our patients have unfettered access on a regular basis to these dogs,” said Clifford Bogue, Chair of Pediatrics at Yale New Haven, “which really gives them so much joy and happiness and most importantly a distraction from what they’re going through being hospitalized.”
Patients like 10-year-old Louvens Archilovelijah know all too well how a furry friend can help with the daily struggles of a long term hospital stay.
“I think it’s a really good thing because if some patients, they can’t really go anywhere, or they’re always so tired, so they have someone to stay with,” said Archilovelijah.
These service dogs help kids with anything from taking pills to motivating them to move around, but they help with more than the eye can see. Child Life Manager Christine Mace said it’s all about that mind-body connection.
“We know when people are happier, their bodies follow suit,” said Mace,
“so it’s kind of a game-changer, having a warm, furry friend to snuggle with and to make sure that there are some uplifting parts of your day, and things that make you forget why you’re in the hospital or that you are even in the hospital.”