One of the first things you may notice when you enter Northwest Pediatric Center is that we have dogs in the clinic area. It started with a Puppy-In-Training, which Dr. Lo was raising to become a Seeing Eye Dog. The puppy was an immediate hit with the kids, who started asking for her to sit with them during immunizations and blood draws. Then we started noticing normally shy and reticent children coming out of their shells once they began playing with the dog. Soon patients and parents began asking for the dog to come into the exam room with them.
It’s not surprising really because animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy have proven to be powerful adjuncts to healing, particularly when it comes to children. Having a soft, furry animal to touch and hold can significantly decrease stress in a child who wouldn’t normally want to come to the doctor’s office.
Now they actually look forward to it!
In addition, the temperaments of our office dogs are extremely forgiving, sweet, and calm, so they’re the perfect practice partners to help your child learn important pet manners and how to interact with others animals safely.
If you or your child has dog allergies, please notify our staff upon your arrival and we’ll make sure the dogs stay out of your way.
Here are the lovable dogs you and your children may meet at our clinic:
SOPHIE, an extremely gentle 10-year old Yellow Lab, belongs to Dr. Polley. You can usually find Sophie in the Centralia office, curled up on a bench in one of the exam rooms or lying in the hallway, waiting for someone to rub her tummy.
DAPHNE, a 10-year old Black Lab, belongs to Dr. Lo. Daphne, a former Guide-Dog-In-Training, changed careers and now serves as one of our office dogs. She is extremely mellow and calm and loves infants and toddlers.
DILLON, a Yellow Lab born in March 2014, is the newest addition to Dr. Lo’s family. Despite his young age, Dillon is extremely calm, great with small children, and loves to have his belly rubbed.