HONOLULU (KHON2) – A very special staff member at Shriners Hospital for Children – Honolulu is working extra hard this holiday season to spread joy to patients.
Zadoc is Shriners Hospital’s first ever full-time facility dog.
The Labrador Retriever has been on the job since August. Zadoc reports to duty everyday and eases the stress and even the pain of Shriners pediatric patients.
“We have families that come in that have been here and might be their first time so it could be kind of threatening or scary, because it’s unfamiliar,” said Helene Freni-Rogers CTRS, Shriners Hospitals for Children- Honolulu manager of recreation therapy. “Then they see Zadoc walking by and automatically you just see a smile on their face.”
With the holidays in full effect, Zadoc is putting in overtime to bring a little holiday joy.
“We just had Halloween and he got everybody in the spirit,” said Michele Chee, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu, director of rehabilitation. “We had a Sesame Street themed Halloween event.”
For Thanksgiving, patients can expect a visit from a four-legged turkey.
“I really love when he can make that connection with a child that maybe is going through a really tough time. He kind of knows and picks up on that and that’s been really special,” Freni-Rogers said.
“Christmas is coming up. So I’m sure there might be an elf or two making an appearance or maybe a reindeer,” Chee said.
When Zadoc isn’t greeting patients, he’s visiting staff or even taking a well deserved midday nap.
“He gets a lot of love and attention from the moment he steps in, but the feeling is mutual. He just really enjoys being around all the kids and he’s such a people person that he just can’t wait to get here in the mornings,” said Chee.
To learn more about Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu, click here.