Texas Children’s Welcomes New Facility Dog, Crosby

Press Release

2-year-old Yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever Cross is Latest Addition to Hospital’s Child Life Department

HOUSTON (Nov. 20, 2023)Texas Children's Hospital in Houston is excited to announce the newest addition to the hospital’s Child Life Department, a specially trained facility dog named Crosby. He will play a crucial role in providing comfort, support and a sense of normalcy to young patients during their hospital stays.

Crosby, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, is the hospital’s latest facility dog to join Texas Children’s Pawsitive Play Program. Before joining the Texas Children's team, Crosby trained intensively for two years at Canine Companions®, an organization that trains and places facility dogs with professionals in clinical, educational or court settings, in addition to service dogs with individuals with a variety of disabilities. 

Crosby joins a team of five other facility dogs, who after receiving extensive training, work full-time in the hospital providing goal-oriented therapeutic interventions and emotional support for patients and their families. 

The Texas Children's Hospital facility dogs are:

• Pinto, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever
• Bailey, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever
• Pluto, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever
• Cohen, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever/Poodle cross
• Angus, a 4-year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever cross

Carefully matched to work alongside his Child Life Specialist handler, Shelby Strauser, and secondary Child Life Specialist handler, Ashley Clark, the duo will utilize Crosby’s specialized training in more than 45 skills to assist in reducing anxiety and stress for children facing medical procedures or hospitalization. As dedicated members of the acute care team, Crosby and his handlers will help children navigate their healthcare journey with added comfort and smiles.

“Crosby has a strong desire to work and is an incredible motivator for children who are experiencing the hardships that come with hospitalization,” Strauser said. “Crosby has a personality that brings a smile to everyone’s face, and he makes even the most difficult tasks seem doable for the patients he works with every day.” 

For over 45 years, Canine Companions has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by training and placing more than 7,600 service and facility dogs with program graduates, including more than 400 dogs with military veterans and more than 2,000 dogs with children. The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companions facility dog like Crosby, and all follow up support, is $50,000, however each facility dog is provided at no cost. Canine Companions depends on the support of tens of thousands of donors and volunteers to match our facility with a service dog like Crosby entirely free of charge.

About Texas Children’s

Texas Children’s, a nonprofit 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 system includes the Texas Children’s Duncan NRI; 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; Texas Children’s Pediatrics, the largest pediatric primary care network in the country; 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