CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital is welcoming two new staff members September 23: Baskin and Agnes, two specially trained pediatric service dogs.
Baskin is a one-year-old golden retriever, and Agnes is a two-year-old goldendoodle. They are trained “to keep kids calm during medical procedures, teach kids how to take a pill, or model how to put on a hospital gown.”
Their presence provides comfort to pediatric patients and their families. Chief of Children’s and Women’s Services, Dr. Mark Scheurer, explained:
“Baskin and Agnes will be integrated into a child’s treatment plan and it will ease the stress when a young patient needs medical procedures by providing a calming and friendly presence.”
The addition of Baskin and Agnes is funded by the Dunkin’ Joy Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program, which has provided over 15 full-time service dogs to children’s hospitals nationwide.
Kari McHugh, Executive Director of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, agreed with Scheurer, saying “The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is always seeking ways to help kids feel like kids, even on their most difficult days. Nothing brings joy more than four paws, a wet nose, and a wagging tail.”