An Interview With Beacon: One of Owensboro Health’s Paw-sitively Amazing Therapy Dogs
The other day, I saw a picture of the most adorable dog in my Facebook feed. Owensboro Health shared, Beacon, one of the hospital’s four therapy dogs "on staff." They shared, "The Pet Therapy Program at Owensboro Health offers patients positive human-animal interactions in a clinical setting, bringing emotional support to patients and staff at a vulnerable time."
Full confession here, I did not know this was something Owensboro Health offered, but I think it's fantastic. “This program is great because it brings joy and takes the patient’s mind away from why they are in the hospital,” Kendra Knott, Human Resource Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator, said. “It is cool to see people light up and their demeanor change when our dogs come in and interact with patients and staff. “
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Beacon. Here's how it went. Spoiler alert: She's a VERY good girl!
What's your full name? Beacon Scott. My paw-rents are Donna and Stan. When they picked me up, I played with a flashlight in the car on the way home so they named me something to do with light. And it’s fitting because as you can see, I am a beacon of light!
What breed are you? I’m a midsize Goldendoodle.
How old are you? I’m three and a half but I still look like a puppy!
Who is your favorite human? My dad! He’s the best. But if he’s not around Mom’s OK too, I guess.
What is your biggest fear? I really don’t like it when people come up behind me and startle me! But I’m not afraid of things like thunder like some dogs are. It’s just a sound, guys.
How long have you been making friends at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital? Almost a year! We go visit the people there once a week for 3 or 4 hours. It’s the best.
How do you feel about the geese that live out there? I think they look pretty tasty so I try to chase them. They all fly away though and I’m too short to catch them. Plus Dad says “No.”
What is your favorite thing about being a therapy dog? ALL THE SMELLS! I love sniffing everyone’s shoes to learn about what fur friends they have at home. I also like all the attention I get. Mom said last week we saw 300 humans at the hospital and they were all looking for love and hugs.
I have my routine down pat and I love going to visit the humans on the Behavioral Health floor because they’re very nice and will sit on the ground with me. I also go see the people getting infusions because that’s a long, boring process for them and maybe they need cheering up. The people in the Emergency Department are always happy to see me, too, because some of them are stressed or worried and they just need some puppy love. The people who work there are also really nice to me and get excited when they see me coming their way!
Where do you sleep? I sleep in the sunroom at our house because that’s MY room. I like it because I can watch all the squirrels and rabbits from there. And my paw-rents don’t trust me to not eat from the garbage can if they give me too much freedom. They’re right, though. I love to eat paper.
Do you love car rides? I love the wind in my hair! Dad rolls the window down for me and I stick my head out when we aren’t going too fast. I have a special harness and seat belt for the car.
Do you snore? That’s kind of a rude question, but I do not! But I do run and twitch in my sleep if I’m having a really good dream about chasing those geese.
What is your favorite food? My very favorite is pup cup ice cream that I get as a reward for my hard work at the hospital. When we get home, I race inside and sit by the refrigerator until someone gives it to me. I also like peanut butter, bananas, watermelon and apples!
What is something you want people to know about your very important job? My paw-rents and I enjoy volunteering as much as people like to see us! They have both had experiences with other therapy dogs when they were patients in a hospital, so we all understand how much a visit from a furry friend can lift your spirits. We just want to hand out smiles.
Who’s a good girl?! I am! I know all kinds of tricks that make people smile. My favorite is to stand on my back legs and spin around like I am dancing. Sometimes I even wear a tutu!
If anyone would like more information on how to be involved or how to receive Pet Therapy they can contact the Volunteer Office at 270-417-3100.
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Gallery Credit: Sabienna Bowman