Dogs give patients four-legged feel-good factor
Patients at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital spent Friday (June 30) afternoon receiving some four-legged feel-good factor.
Three canine guests were brought in to do a similar job to the medical staff in that their presence is to make the patients feel better.
It was the first time pet-assisted therapy was introduced at an acute hospital.
The PATME event (Pet Assisted Therapy at Mount Elizabeth) was inspired by a crowd sourced happening from September 2016 when terminally-ill 13-year-old Issac Lahl had a wish of petting a hundred golden retrievers.
To make that dream a reality, Dr Leo Seo Wei, an ophthalmologist from Mount Elizabeth, sent out a plea through the Golden Retriever Club's Facebook group.
The result was a huge day out at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Seeing the effect of well-being the dogs had, Dr Leo went on to put the PATME event together.
On Friday, five patients were accompanied by two Golden Retrievers and a West Highland White Terrier for animal-assisted activities at the hospital.
In the one-and-a-half-hour session, patients stroked, fed and played fetch with the dogs.
The patients were also taught how to give commands for the dogs to perform simple tricks.
Dr Leo said: "The aim of this is to make use of the human and animal bond in the recovery of our patients.
'The activities will help to reduce the patient's stress levels and keep them calm."
One of the patients, Miss Sri Rathi Pirya, 32, managed to have one of the golden retrievers put his head on her lap.
She said: "I love dogs and I think this event is wonderful. Just being around them makes me forget about my pain."