Category : Therapy Dog

Hand Hand Surgery Therapy Dog

Making the rounds: Therapy dogs team up with hand surgeon to comfort patients

from the Chicago Tribune

When Ceil Johnson fell on the ice and broke her wrist last month, she went to hand surgeon Leon Benson for treatment.

Benson had taken care of her before, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t nervous when the doctor, who practices in Wilmette and Glenview, removed the staples in her arm a few weeks later. But Johnson had a companion to help steady her as Benson carefully removed each staple: Benson’s Portuguese water dog, Cooper.

Cooper sat patiently on the exam table beside Johnson, letting her put her arms around him and bury her face in his glossy black side until the doctor’s work was completed.

Johnson, who has dogs herself, said she was glad Cooper had been there for her.

“I’m not a kid about stuff like this, but without Cooper there, it would have felt a lot worse,” she said.

Benson, who is affiliated with both the NorthShore Orthopaedic Institute and the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, is used to that kind of response to 7-year-old Cooper, and to Chelsea, Cooper’s 11-year-old Portuguese water dog colleague. That’s exactly the reason he brings one or both of them in to see patients.

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