Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Fort Worth brought on its sixth facility dog to help special needs patients with disabilities.
Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Fort Worth welcomed its sixth facility dog to help special needs patients with disabilities. The Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation is a joint venture between Baylor Scott & White and Select Medical.
The new four-legged caregiver is a yellow Labrador/golden retriever named Grayson, provided through a unique collaboration with not-for-profit Canine Companions.
Grayson was trained for two years at the Canine Companions at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade campus in Irving, Texas, and can perform more than 45 skills designed to motivate and inspire special-needs patients with disabilities.
Grayson works alongside recreation therapist Katie White, MEd, CTRS, CDP, to change how patients receive therapy in outpatient and inpatient settings. Grayson, like all Canine Companions service and facility dogs, was placed in this role based on his skills and ability to support patients, including:
- Walking next to patients for increased stability over long distances and unlevel surfaces.
- Pulling tug straps attached to knelling patients to challenge their core strength and dynamic balance.
- Having a double amputee patient bend over to pet him while Grayson’s lying on the floor to encourage dynamic balance using new prosthetics.
- Having a patient sit on a disc unsupported while throwing items for Grayson to retrieve challenges dynamic sitting balance.
White says she looks forward to finding creative ways to integrate Grayson’s skills into patient therapies, supporting patients in a way only a dog can.
“There is definitely more joy and enjoyment and a lot more motivation. Everyone is so excited when Grayson is in the gym,” said White. “Whether they are the patient working with him or not. Everyone is just thrilled to be around him and so impressed with what he can do with the patients.”
Photo courtesy of Baylor Scott & White