Huggie is a 2-year-old Labrador retriever facility dog, provided by Canine Companions for Independence, and he supports many children receiving treatments at the UC Davis Pediatric Infusion Center. Dogs like Huggie are a tremendous help in normalizing and motivating pediatric patients. Their presence aids in reducing fear, stress, anxiety or pain the patients may be feeling.
In this photo, 4-year-old Bill is getting his central line accessed. “My son hates ‘pokies,’ as we call the needle sticks” says mom, Victoria. “But Huggie helps tremendously by lying next to Bill. He is instrumental in distracting Bill during these sometimes-painful treatments.”
UC Davis pediatric oncologist Marcio Malogolowkin, M.D., and child life specialist, Jenny Belke can attest to the many benefits therapy dogs provide patients. “Huggie brings such comfort and support to our patients, families—and staff!” says Malogolowkin. “It’s just one more sign of our hospital’s commitment to quality pediatric care and the patient experience.”
To view more photos visit Children’s Hospitals Photo Exhibit.