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Therapy dogs bring comfort to kids getting COVID-19 shot

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Posted at 10:13 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 12:46:26-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — Lucy and Ollie are Goldendoodles with a purpose.

They are therapy dogs at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. Their latest mission is to help calm children who are receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.

"I come in with my dog Lucy and she knows she's going to work when we pull in, she gets excited. She knows her purpose and her job and she knows which kids need her more. She puts her paw in their hand and keeps them calm. She goes from kid to kid and senses when they need her and they come out laughing and happy," said Melanie Jacobson.

Blanca Montano, a nurse at the hospital, said it's important to prepare children for their COVID-19 vaccine.

She recommends that parents start with a conversation and allow children to ask questions.

Montano also suggests bringing an iPad or favorite toy to serve as a similar distraction as a therapy dog would.

"Some kids are nervous and the therapy dogs distract them where they normally wouldn't do it, they do it. Tell them they have gotten other shots and this is no different. Tell them it's OK to be nervous, that adults get nervous too. Most kids will say it's not that bad when it's over," said Montano.

This story was originally reported by Vanessa Van Hyfte on 10news.com.