A Therapy Dog’s Memorable Visit in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Published on 
January 22, 2014

Our dog volunteers visit the hospital on a daily basis. They wear a purple bandana and have their own Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ID badge. We’re proud of our dog volunteers because they do a lot of good for patients and families receiving care at the hospital. They help:DJGrabeandMax

  • Comfort patients who cannot leave their rooms
  • Ease anxiety and pain before a procedure or while hospitalized

Each year, more than 50 volunteers bring trained and registered therapy dogs to visit our patients and families through the Amerman Family Foundation Dog Therapy Program. We recently heard about a memorable visit for one of our volunteer dogs, Max. We couldn't wait to share it with you.

Max’s Special Visit with a Little Boy (Snuggles Included)

Max and his owner, DJ, asked one of the nurses in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) if a patient would like pet therapy. Even though the boy was a bit restless, the nurse suggested Max and DJ give it a try. When the boy’s family saw Max, they were immediately excited. The boy, who couldn’t open his eyes at the time of Max’s visit, was eager to pet Max and allowed him to get on the bed for some snuggles. When the boy touched Max’s paw, he said, “Wow!” The boy and his family enjoyed some laughs and became visibly relaxed. For the remainder of the visit, the boy held Max's paw and continued to caress it lovingly. He never opened his eyes, but was thoroughly engaged with Max the whole time. When it was time for Max to go, he said, “Bye, Max!” His family smiled and the boy’s nurse was grateful her patient experienced the healing power of pet therapy.