The latest hire at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has all the skills he needs to help young patients: solid training, a strong work ethic, a good bedside manner, a wagging tail and a wet nose.
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Becoming an assistance dog is like going to college. It’s tough to get in and not everyone graduates. “We want to identify those features that are going to be linked to success,” said Brenda Kennedy, DVM, MS, Canine Companions national director of canine health and research.
Canine Companions Facility Dog Joins the staff at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
In February 2020, Squid, a Canine Companions for Independence® (Canine Companions) facility dog, joined the Patient- and Family-Centered Care team at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He arrived shortly before COVID-19 impacted the local community.
With visitors to the hospital limited due to social distancing health safety measures, Squid arrived on the job just in time to engage with patients and staff through this stressful time of unknowns.
Committed to giving back, in 2020 BarkYard is donating 1% of the profits of any BarkYard product sold through their website to Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships with adults, children, and veterans with disabilities.
While the coronavirus pandemic is limiting flights for many, it has not stopped Canine Companions for Independence from transporting its future assistance dog puppies. Thanks to volunteer pilots, these Canine Companions puppies flew more luxuriously than most of us ever will – on private planes.
This Independence Day was also Canine Companions® 45th anniversary! Our organization has experienced tremendous growth over the years, but our mission has never wavered. Our dogs have increased independence for people with a range of disabilities from hearing loss to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We recognize at Canine Companions there is work to do. We are dedicated to being more intentional in our efforts for greater inclusion and diversity within the Canine Companions community of clients, staff, volunteers, board members and supporters. To date, our statements have been about supporting inclusion, diversity and justice, treating each other with respect and seeking to understand and communicate. We are now providing an action plan to support those statements. Our mission is to serve people with disabilities, regardless of race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status or background. We clearly have work to do to be more inclusive and to increase our diversity, both within our organization and within our broader community and outreach. Click here to read more about our plan.