There’s a new face at Salisbury Pediatrics, and it just happens to be full of fur. Facility Dog Rolanda was recently placed with Alicia, a RN, BSN and Clinical Manager at Salisbury Pediatrics, and this client/dog team is already making a pretty big difference around the clinic.
As with any pediatric clinic, there are a lot of shots given. Most children find shots a little scary, if not downright terrifying. But that’s where Rolanda excels. Rolanda has been trained specifically to settle calmly next to a child, providing the snuggles and distractions needed in scary situations. Rolanda received her training at Dogs for Better Lives, a nonprofit that trains and places Assistance Dogs and Facility Dogs nationwide.
In addition to helping make medical visits less frightening for children, Rolanda keeps the child’s attention so that their parent can have a conversation with the doctor, making it easier for parents to learn what they need to during the visit.
Rolanda is not the only working dog you might meet at Salisbury Pediatrics. Dr. Danielle Rose comes to work with her Hearing Assistance Dog, Delight. Delight was also trained at Dogs for Better Lives and was the inspiration for Alicia to apply for a Facility Dog, because she saw how much Delight’s presence helped patients and parents.
When Alicia learned she would be receiving Rolanda, she was beyond excited. “I just knew she would be a great addition to our clinic’s team, and we couldn’t wait to meet her,” said Alicia.
“After having Rolanda for a few weeks, she taught us she has a voice and loves to tell the staff ‘Good Morning.’ We make office rounds every morning to greet everyone and say hello, and then we start our busy day to help patients. Rolanda has helped multiple children and teens when they are getting vaccines. They love hugging her and petting her while she is partially on their lap, which helps calm and distract them,” added Alicia.
Rolanda has helped multiple children and teens when they are getting vaccines. They love hugging her and petting her while she is partially on their lap, which helps calm and distract them,” added Alicia.
Facility Dogs are trained to do specific, skilled tasks and placed with working professionals or volunteers to help support them in their work with vulnerable populations and persons with disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, or developmental). The dog accompanies the professional to work every day and is trained to interact in various ways with patients, clients, and students to provide a needed focus or distraction, motivation, and calming to enhance treatment, learning, and development.
“We can’t wait to see all the great things Rolanda does with Alicia at Salisbury Pediatrics. Rolanda is a wonderful, calming dog who loves children. It’s great to see how many children and families she is already helping in North Carolina,” said Trish Welch, VP of Operations at Dogs for Better Lives.
Thanks to donor support, Dogs for Better Lives places professionally trained Assistance Dogs at absolutely no cost to the people they help, providing safety, independence, and companionship. 100% of every donation goes toward programmatic expenses.
Visit dogsforbetterlives.org to learn more about our amazing dogs and clients, apply for one of our Assistance Dogs, or make a life-changing gift.
About Dogs for Better Lives
Dogs for Better Lives is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing on the professional training and placement of Hearing Assistance Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs, and Facility Dogs and is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and recognized by Charity Navigator as a top 4-star nonprofit. Dogs for Better Lives has trained and placed more than 1,600 dogs with people in need since 1977. Assistance Dogs are placed at zero cost to the client, thanks to donor support.