AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Not all employees at Children’s Hospital Colorado have two legs, some have four legs and wagging tails. They are called hospital dogs, part of the staff. Now they will be able to enjoy a little time off in a specially designed and built dog park.
Working at a hospital is a stress filled occupation. “Especially this past year. It has been extraordinarily stressful for our team members,” Suzy Jaeger, Chief Patient Experience and Access Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado said.
Physician assistants, nurses, anesthesiologists, even “MDs,” medical dogs that is, are part of the team. “A medical dog is a member of our team that really helps patients and families adapt to what’s happening to them,” Jaeger said.
For three years now medical dogs have been part of the staff at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Helping kids cope with things like traumatic news, difficult procedures and mental health issues, just to name a few.
“It is very stressful for them. First of all they are dogs and they like to run around and have time to play. But when they are working they have to be quiet, often times they are with patients in bed,” Jaeger said.
That is why they built the Canine Respite Park. “The dogs didn’t really have a designated place to play, a place to let off steam,” Jaeger said.
The 7,000-square-foot dog park looks more like a hobbit’s shire and that is because a lot of thought was put into making it.
“We hired a very special architect to help us design this dog park, we wanted it to be visually appealing,” Jaeger said.
And dog convenient with a specially designed underground water system to clean away the expected bathroom breaks.
The park is not just for the pups. Patients and co-workers can always use a little sunshine break, too.