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Shodair's canine assistance dog helps psychiatric patients

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 11:09:02-05

Shodair's only four-legged employee has a unique way of connecting with patients who have a mental illness or other psychiatric problems.

Blue Bonnet, the facility dog, is specifically trained from a puppy to recognize the emotions of a person with an emphasis on bonding.

"No matter how hard the unit is that day all of our staff can calm down,” said registered nurse Allie Trent. “And just take a minute and take a breath with Blue for themselves and just recoup and reset really.”

Staff say patients look forward to seeing Blue and are often more willing to open up about past trauma.

Blue is also the first dog from canine assistance to work in a children's psychiatric hospital.

She has been with Shodair for over a year and a half now and staff say the dog has the ability to brighten everyone's day.