Newest Hospital Staff Member Has Four Paws and a Tail

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Meet Rocket the newest staff member at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. His job description focuses on helping young patients take medicine, relax during anxious moments, encouraging them to walk after surgery and offering support and affection during medical procedures.

This canine staff position was made possible by community support and a generous gift of $250,000 from NutriSource® Pet Foods.

Rocket went through years of advanced, specialized training allowing him to be present during medical procedures – something other therapy dogs visiting the hospital are not able to do.

“There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our children. The bond between pets and kids is extra special,” said KLN Family Brands President Charlie Nelson manufacturer of NutrisSource. “In addition to our mission to provide nutritious and healthy food for our four-legged family members, we are proud to support the great work at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital by funding the Nutrisource® Facility Dog Program.”

There is no question that therapy dogs and cats make a huge difference to patients of all ages in a hospital setting. But having these extra skills to be present during medical procedures is something hopefully more therapy dogs will be trained to do in the future.

 

 

 

tip of the day

Courtesy: The Kong Company
Courtesy: The Kong Company

Distraction toys such as a Kong can provide additional hours of fun if you stuff it with Ultramix sweet potato or pumpkin puree and freeze the toy until the puree is solid. Be sure to give the stuffed Kong to your dog outside or somewhere where you won’t mind cleaning up the mess – if he doesn’t lick up everything for you! Peanut butter is another great option. Courtesy Kong