Therapy dogs’ Halloween costumes ignite patients’ smiles, laughter
Dressed up in costumes ranging from homecoming queens to hot dogs, several therapy dogs and their handlers participated in a parade at the Corewell Health Beaumont Troy Hospital Oct. 27 — for the enjoyment of the facility’s patients and staff.
The annual parade brought hours of fun-loving smiles to the hospital just four days before Halloween.
Approximately 80 therapy dogs and their handlers visit Corewell’s facilities on a regular basis to cheer up the patients — both young and old.
Judging by the smiles on the faces of the handlers — many of whom were decked-out in eye-catching costumes like their dogs — the event was a joyful occasion for everyone who participated.
One dog was pulled in the parade in a cart labeled “Homecoming Queen”.
Animal Assisted Therapy
The Animal Assisted Therapy program at Beaumont Children’s is administered by the hospital’s certified child life specialists. The program helps hundreds of young patients each year cope with the stress and anxiety of hospitalization through interactions with furry, four-legged volunteers.
Child-life specialists accompany each dog and the dog’s volunteer owner/handler on all visits with patients. The children enjoy petting the dogs, playing with them and simply focusing on something other than their health.
Animal assisted therapy is a goal-directed intervention designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning. The program helps the Child Life Services team fulfill its mission to promote effective coping through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities.
In addition to room visits and extra one-on- one time for patients who need more support, the Animal Assisted Therapy program offers several therapeutic components, including:
- distraction during IV starts and other minor procedures;
- assist with physical therapy or occupational therapy sessions; and
- special group events.