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Texas Children's Hospital's Furriest Team Members Host "Pawsitively" Endearing Valentine's Parade for Pediatric Patients
Cardiology patients at Texas Children’s Hospital celebrated Valentine’s Day early today with a special dog parade, courtesy of the hospital’s furriest team members. Pet therapy dogs Elsa, Bailey, Pinto and Pluto made personal visits throughout Texas Children’s Heart Center, delivering smiles, Valentine’s cards and festive beaded necklaces to patients and their families.
Beloved therapy dogs Elsa, Bailey, Pinto and Pluto Deliver Smiles and Valentines to Hospitalized Children
HOUSTON (Feb. 10, 2022) — Cardiology patients at Texas Children’s Hospital celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early with a special dog parade today, courtesy of the hospital’s furriest team members.
Pet therapy dogs Elsa, Bailey, Pinto and Pluto made personal visits to the hospitalized children throughout Texas Children’s Heart Center, delivering smiles, Valentine’s cards, and festive beaded necklaces. As always, the golden retrievers brightened the days of the sick patients, their families, and the hospital’s physicians and staff.
“Bailey is my best friend,” said Kyleigh Ward, 6, who has been hospitalized for nearly 150 days as she awaits a much-needed heart transplant. “I was very excited! I love the dogs’ kisses!”
Kyleigh’s mother, Briancca, appreciated how the canine parade warmed the heart of her daughter who was in need of a special treat. “We love the dogs. It was very therapeutic to see them come around and spend time with the families. It was fun seeing them all again. I’m glad Kyleigh had a good time — I had a good time, too!”
Elsa, Bailey, Pinto and Pluto are the cornerstones of Texas Children’s Pawsitive Play Program, designed to enhance the emotional well-being of patients and families in the hospital. The dogs are specially bred and trained to work as service dogs in a pediatric hospital setting, and they work full time alongside Child Life Specialists throughout Texas Children’s Hospital. Additional therapy dogs Angus and Cohen work at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, respectively.
“The Child Life Heart Center team and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) team came together to make the dog parade happen, and I’m so happy it went so well,” said Victoria Ramos, Child Life Activity Coordinator at Texas Children’s Hospital. “My role is to bring normalization and play to patients and families while they are in the hospital. Bringing in the AAT dogs makes the job even more special because they provide support to our patients and families in more ways than you expect. What could be more fun than a parade where we come together and create fun memories for patients and their families?”
In addition to making stops in Texas Children’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and throughout Legacy Tower, the dog parade also visited patients in the hospital’s Adult Congenital Heart Program, specially designed for adult patients with congenital heart disease.
Texas Children’s Heart Center was named No. 1 in the country for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery for the fifth year in a row in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. For more than 60 years, Texas Children’s Heart Center’s multidisciplinary team has joined elite cardiac teams with state-of-the-art technology, shaping the field of pediatric cardiology and heart surgery in the United States.
Individuals who are interested in donating to Texas Children’s Hospital’s Animal-Assisted Therapy Program can do so by visiting https://texaschildrens.org/pawsitiveplaysupport. For more information about Texas Children’s Heart Center, please visit https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/heart-center. To learn more about Texas Children’s Hospital’s Pawsitive Play Program, visit https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/child-life-department/animal-assisted-therapy.
Pediatric cardiology patient Kyleigh Ward, 6, and her mother, Briancca, received a friendly visit from Texas Children’s Hospital’s pet therapy dog, Bailey, during a special Valentine’s Day dog parade today. Kyleigh has been hospitalized for nearly 150 days as she awaits a much-needed heart transplant, and her “best friend” Bailey — along with his furry pals Elsa, Pinto and Pluto — put a smile on her face as they progressed through Texas Children’s Heart Center.
Child Life Specialists and team members from Texas Children’s Heart Center hosted a special dog parade today, enabling cardiac patients at Texas Children’s Hospital to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early. Pet therapy dogs Elsa, Bailey, Pinto and Pluto donned festive headbands and pink tutus as they delivered smiles, Valentine’s cards and beaded necklaces to patients and their families.
About Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children’s Health Plan, the nation’s first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children’s Pediatrics; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.