Mel is a beautiful deaf white Aussie. Mel works as a therapy dog at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital through Delta Society’s Pet Partner program. She visits children of all ages in the oncology unit and at the day hospital. sometimes visits expectant mothers in the ante partum unit as well. Mel is invited into each of the patients’ rooms individually and is even allowed on the bed! She’s a natural at making everyone smile.
Sometimes she’s active and will solicit petting, perform tricks or even play cards with the kids. There are times when she’s quiet and she will just lie in bed with the patients and let them stroke her for as long as they want. The doctors and nurses at Stanford love her too and are always happy to see her. This type of hospital work requires the therapy team to have a Complex (environment) rating from Delta Society. This means that the dog and handler can function well in places where there’s a lot of distractions and potentially scary sounds (lol!), smells and objects for a dog. Mel is held to high standards and has what it takes to do the job.
But being a therapy dog is a small part of Mel’s life. Mel also competes in APDT Rally trials. Most of the time, Mel is just a very happy, well-adjusted, normal dog – and a very dear member of our family.
This story was submitted by Lilian Fukuda.
Note from Deaf Dogs Rock: It so great seeing a beautiful deaf white Aussie doing so well in the Delta Therapy Pet Partners program. According to my deaf dog Nitro, Lilian and Mel totally ROCK. ~ Christina