As a therapy dog, Pete helps with stress, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Pete’s work with these young patients is called animal assisted therapy and makes a positive impact in the treatment to children. He helps offer a sense of calm and compassion, lift spirits up, and provide comfort too, which he and his family consider the most important part of the job.
To be a pet therapy dog, certain criteria must be met to get certified and then registered through a national organization. At the Medical University of South Carolina, therapy dogs and their handlers are identified by their MUSC ID badges. When Pete goes to hospital, he first must be well groomed and cleaned. Pete has a special leash/collar combination that he wears on those days he’s offering therapy. One to two days a week, pal Pete visits with children that are in intensive care and cardiac care, children that are getting some sort of procedure, and he goes to the post-treatment floor, after a patient’s medical care. The first stop though each time at MUSC is to the nurse's station where Pete receives snacks from the nurses! There, he receives the list of rooms to visit and spends about 20 to 30 minutes with each patient. There might be as many as 20 visits in just one day but they always try and fit everyone in. It’s a big job but, he and his family love to do it, and everyone at MUSC loves pal, Pete!
Wanting to see more fun family photographs of pets? Check out Ashley & Cooper's blog right here! You too can have pet portraits of your pal, just give out studio a call. Valerie & Co. Photographers we'd be happy to provide you with images of your four-legged family member that you'll truly cherish!