HUDSON — It was no trouble at all for veteran therapy dog Mr. McTrouble to serve more than 100 hours comforting patients at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
The dog earned his 100-hour volunteer pin, presented by Donna Owen, manager of volunteer services at the hospital.
A 3-year-old Sheltie, Mr. McTrouble is owned by Chuck Andrews.
Mr. McTrouble actually has compiled 186 hours of volunteer service, hospital officials said, because he also visits one day a week at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Tampa.
Regional Medical Center administrator are also glad to have three other therapy dogs in addition to Mr. McTrouble.
Animal visits to a hospital provide positive, lasting memories for patients and their families with an event to be excited about, Kurt Conover, the hospital’s marketing director, emphasized in a press release.
Visiting with animals can help people feel less lonely and less depressed. It has been shown that many become more active and responsive both during and after their visit. Stroking a dog or cat can actually reduce a person’s blood pressure.
A dog visit offers entertainment as well as a welcome distraction from pain and infirmity. People often talk to the dogs and share their thoughts, feelings and memories with them.
One of the patients at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point had been slowly recovering from a coma when Mr. McTrouble came in. Andrews, the dog’s owner, told the patient that if she could get into a wheelchair by our next visit she could take Mr. McTrouble for a walk down the hall.
Next week the patient was sitting in a wheelchair eagerly waiting Mr. McTrouble’s arrival.
Andrews says one little girl at the Shriners hospital was in need of a prosthesis for each of her arms, but she kept refusing them. When Mr. McTrouble came in she told the therapist, “Get me those arms so I can pet Mr. McTrouble.”