BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Thanks to a new program at Brigham and Women's Hospital, patients can de-stress with the help of some furry friends.
The pet therapy program, called Brigham Buddies, is the creation of 17-year-old Caroline Alexander, who has a passion for two things: helping people, and dogs.
"It came to my attention that the Brigham does not have a therapy dog program, and I thought it was equally as important to provide therapy for adults, because they love dogs," Caroline told WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman
The program is available to patients and faculty, and includes pups like Jameson, a two-year-old Shetland sheepdog, and Oliver, an eight-year-old golden retriever, pictured above.
Julie McKinley is the owner of one of the therapy dogs, and talked about what it's like helping patients daily.
"Their day is so long, they're here all day with nothing to look forward to, and we walk into the room and their faces light up," she said. "Physically, for a lot of people who are disabled or they're really struggling, they suddenly have this burst of energy, and it's almost like a reset for them."
Caroline described what the patients tell her about the dogs.
"It's really special, because they're in the hospital, it's after a huge procedure, and they're telling me it's the best day of their life," she said.
Her mother, Corinne, described how proud she is of her daughter.
"She's still going strong," she said. "She's still planning on growing it, and it's a tremendous effort."
WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports