Child with dog

Canine Assistants visit our Families

What can make our House feel more like home? How about some furry friends?!

Each month our Families have the opportunity to play with service dogs in training from Canine Assistants. Betty Haake has been a volunteer for the Canine Assistants program at the Ronald McDonald House for the past ten years! She says, “The patients, caregivers, parents and staff get to forget everything and are totally absorbed in these loving pups when we visit.”

Canine Assistants is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs to enhance and improve the lives of children and adults who have physical disabilities, seizure conditions or other special needs. Betty claims that the time spent at our House is a “win-win” for everyone involved. “This Animal Assisted Therapy is a very good experience for these pups since they will be placed with adults and children who have similar health issues as those in residence at the House,” Betty said.

Some children work with service dogs-in-training at their in-patient rehab care within the hospital. When they get to see the same dogs at our House, it helps them bridge the transition outside of the hospital. “These are sensitive pups who know when a child isn’t feeling well and snuggle with the child to show they care,” Betty said.

Our House is very lucky to have such special furry friends and wonderful volunteers like Betty who bring laughter and joy into our “home-away-from-home. Thank you Canine Assistants for joining us in keeping families close!