We often turn to dogs in difficult times, for comfort and companionship. And the children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the capital of Georgia are going through trickier times than most.

But fortunately, the hospital boasts 14 dogs, who all provide invaluable support to the children.

”I got my surgery today, two actually … after she came and said hi and snuggled up with me,” Max Moore, 10, about Flo, his favorite facility dog.

The Most Important Job

Max has a rare condition that’s only been documented in around 150 people worldwide. However, he’s found a real bond with Flo, who works at the hospital as part of the Canines for Kids program. “Her and me just get along…she was nice and soft and I loved her,” he said.

“As an employee, she was paired with me and now Flo is considered an employee. She comes with me every day I come to work,” explained member of staff Ellie Armstrong. 

Sometimes, on the busiest days, Max won’t get to see Flo. But with the new Pen Paws scheme, the children at the hospital can write to the dogs, and they might even get a response back too. 

Pen Paws Is Magic

When Atlanta News First asked Max what he thought about them doing a story on Flo and the rest of the facility dogs, he described her as “an amazing dog” who “helps a lot of people”. 

“Flo is magic,” he finished.

“Yeah, Flo is magic,” said Ellie. “I just feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”

You can find more about the Canines for Kids program here, and get to know each of the 14 pups who play such important roles. Like Allis, who encouraged Milo to walk with the use of prosthetics as part of the Comprehensive Limb Difference Program.

You can also donate here.

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