HOUSTON - Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston’s Medical Center welcomed its third therapy dog to the facility Monday.
Dressed in a green vest accentuated with a red bandana, Pinto, a 2-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever, is the hospital’s newest therapy dog. He joins 18-month-old Bailey and 3-year-old Elsa as part of Texas Children’s Pawsitive Play Program, designed to enhance the emotional well-being of patients and families in the hospital.
The hospital says Pinto will provide support to those who may be having trouble coping with a hospital stay, new diagnosis or certain medical procedure at Texas Children’s.
The addition of Pinto was a gift from The Auxiliary to Texas Children's Hospital. Shelby Bonnet, an animal-assisted therapy coordinator and child life specialist, will be Pinto’s staff.
In a news release about Pinto, the hospital noted the dog has an official hospital badge and enjoys a lunch break.
The release added, “(Pinto) spends time outside of his vest playing with his toys and furry colleagues, Bailey and Elsa. To ensure he always looks his best, he is groomed weekly and his paws are wiped down daily.”
Before making his journey to Houston last weekend, the hospital said Pinto underwent extensive training with Canine Assistants, a non-profit in Atlanta, which has matched more than 1,500 service dogs with individuals and hospitals.
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