We’ve always heard that there’s no easier way to handle an illness than with a snuggly puppy who notices when you’re feeling low. We’re hoping that dogs like Brea, a 2-year-old Yellow Labrador bouncing down the halls of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., would become more available at other hospitals.
Brea is the hospital’s first service dog handled by Leah Frohnerath, a child development nurse at the hospital. Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that offers free service dogs to people in need, trained Brea.
Frohnerath told WFTS-TV in St. Petersburg that Brea has 40 different orders that they use together. They could link them and make her do various rehabilitation activities, speech therapy, or simply helping kids ambulate around the hospital.
According to Frohnerath, Brea sits next to the children and helps them get their pokes. He laid with a young man on a random day as he got sedation with an anesthesia mask.
According to federal regulations, facility dogs like Brea are classified separately from other service animals. Facility dogs and their handlers have additional instruction and qualifications, enabling them to work more closely with hospital personnel. According to Frohnerath, in a press release from the hospital, she is highly excited for Brea to be a part of their team.
Frohnerath grew up with a disability and discovered the therapeutic appeal of dogs at a young age. She has made every attempt in her life and work, she claims, to foster these magical experiences and incognito clinical interventions between person and animal.
Brea is just one of the ever-growing list of dogs making a difference in the medical community. In the list, one who also included was Boncuckn, who waited outside the hospital where his owner was being treated for almost a week and a loving pup who followed his human’s ambulance to the hospital.