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Child Life On Call: Parents of children with an illness or medical condition share their stories with a child life specialist

Sep 28, 2022

"A patient becomes so vulnerable with them because they don't even realize what they are doing. When you are in that moment petting the dog, every emotion, feeling and thought runs free because you aren't having to focus on a conversation, it is so natural."
-Shelby Bonnet, CCLS

Shelby Bonnet, a certified Child Life Specialist and Animal Assisted Therapy Coordinator, shares how facility dogs are utilized in children's hospitals. This episode is packed full of information on how facility dogs impact patient care and how to balance patient and clinician needs. If you are a parent who has ever wondered about the purpose of a facility dog in hospitals or a clinician who is wanting to have a facility dog be apart of their hospital's program, you will want to give this episode a listen!

[3:00] Shelby shares about her career being a Child Life Specialist and Facility Dog handler

[5:00] How they started the Facility Dog Program

[6:30] Child Life Specialists role with Facility Dogs

[7:12] How her workflow changed

[8:25] Balancing the needs of patients and clinicians

[10:10] Being intentional with your time

[11:18] How Pinto, the facility dog helped with a with an intervention with an oncology patient

[14:08] How Pinto altered the entire families experience, not only the patient

[17:38] Common misconceptions of having a facility dog

[19:07] Life at home with Pinto

[21:04] How to get the process started

[23:22] Splitting time amongst different units in the hospital

Connect with Shelby:


Shelby's Recommended Resources:

Canine Companions

Canine Assistants 

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