Therapy dogs at the local hospital are putting smiles on patients’ faces by simply being cute and cuddly. Theo, a therapy dog, loves making new friends.
The adorable Golden Retriever has been a regular visitor at the local hospital, spreading joy among patients and residents. He has also offered relief to college students and schoolchildren in reading programs.
Since children as young as five years old are now qualified for Covid-19 vaccination, Theo and his friends are out on a mission.
The therapy dogs are visiting vaccination clinics for children offering their support.
Theo’s handler, Beth Kuoni, said, “Theo is pretty versatile. He is very, very tuned in to people.”
Theo and his handler recently visited the pediatric vaccination center at Greensboro Coliseum Complex. He, along with some other therapy dogs, greeted hundreds of children.
The therapy dogs walk around the crowds, handing free badges, crayons, and dog pictures for the children to color in.
Beth recalled, “There was one little girl that we visited with, and she was trying to be brave. She was really cute and being very sweet. She was there with her dad.”
“We gave her one of Theo’s pictures and some crayons, and then I moved on with other kids. Before they left, they came over and sought us out—she wanted to show Theo the picture she had colored. It was just a real sweet exchange, and it really made a difference for her.”
The friendly therapy dogs helped parents and nurses with children who feared needles. They’d sometimes hug crying children or distract them with their cuteness.
The presence of these dogs provided the children with a fun distraction while getting their vaccines.
One of the kids was having a difficult time. However, once she met Theo, her confidence grew, and she got her vaccine.
Kuoni said, “When she came out, she was all talkative, the way kids are after they go through something—when it’s over, they want to talk about it, you know? And she said, ‘He really helped me through this. Theo was so good with the kids. It really mattered to the kids to have the dogs there.”
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