Babs — Service
Babs was trained as a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence. She works at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, in Baltimore, MD, as a facility dog with her handler, Lindie McDonough Ashman, who is a Child Life Specialist and Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.
Babs works with a variety of patients- infants-through young adults- who have diagnoses such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, autism, cerebral palsy, burns/wounds, spina bifida, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Babs gives the patients with whom she works unconditional love, and motivates patients who are hospitalized for lengthy periods of time, or who are struggling with chronic injuries or illnesses, in medical rehabilitation.
Babs serves a variety of roles at the hospital- she provides comfort and motivation to patients during painful and anxiety provoking procedures; and helps patients increase their independence by helping them ambulate or maneuver their wheelchair, opening doors, or picking items up for them that they’ve dropped. Babs provides an exciting twist to patients during PT, OT, and Speech therapy, while patient’s play fetch with her and work on their balance; groom her to work on fine motor skills; or engage in medical play with her to practice their speech goals and increase their comfort in the medical setting.
Babs is an invaluable asset to the hospital- she has touched hundreds of lives and gives children a chance to have normalcy and love while hospitalized.