Off Beat Stories

Sep 17, 2009 1:25 PM by Susy Solis

Dogs don scrubs to help patients heal

Burn patients suffer almost more than any other patient at Dallas' Parkland Hospital.

Now patients are getting a healing hand from a new employee who gives patients therapy without ever saying a word.

Like the doctors and nurses at Parkland, Rascal the therapy dog makes his rounds visiting patients.

The 5 year old rescue dog makes special visits to burn victims.

Like anyone else who enters the unit, he's got to wear scrubs.

Burn victims often have long hospital stays while they recover.

"Burns are one of the worst injuries you can have the pain is probably worse than anything else you'll ever experience," said doctor Brett Arnoldo.

But a visit from Rascal brings them comfort and happiness.

Doctors say that can often help their recovery.

"If their spirits are improved they're able to participate in their care better in terms of wound care, physical therapy. Overall they do seem to improve and it helps us too," said Arnoldo.

"He's just so loving and warm and snuggly. He loves people," said Rascal's owner Susie Moore.

And people love him too, including the staff, who look forward to his visits.

"I think it helps us take care of ourselves because this is not an easy job. There's a lot of stress and you deal with different problems and it helps you soldier on," said Arnoldo.

By the end of day Rascal is dog tired but for this top dog it's all in days work.

"He wants to be petted, he's kind of demanding really. He says," I'm here! Pet me!" said Moore.



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