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Fort Worth Therapy Dog Named a ‘Dog Who Changed the World'

Kitty, a Golden Retriever, helps treat child abuse victims at Cook Children's Medical Center

A Fort Worth dog has been recognized by the dog food company Milk-Bone as one of its “Dogs Who Changed the World.”

Kitty, a Golden Retriever, is a therapy dog at Cook Children’s Medical Center and she primarily helps to comfort children who are brought to the hospital as suspected victims of child abuse.

“She changes the world one person at a time,” said Dr. Jamye Coffman, the pediatric emergency medicine physician who both lives and works with Kitty. “[Because of] the interactions she has with people, one of the doctors told me she has a soul.”

Kitty, who is named for the breeder who raised her, can often be found at the hospital laid out on her belly, calmly allowing anyone and everyone to pet or play with her.

“How can you be anxious when you’re petting her, right?” Coffman asked.

Kitty is a “top-dog” graduate of the Canine Assistants school, which trains high-functioning service dogs to be the super-pups of the canine world, according to a news release from Milk-Bone.

“Thanks to support from Milk-Bone, Canine Assistants has placed more than 2,000 hero dogs with individuals across the U.S,” the statement noted.

As for the serious work of treating child abuse victims, Coffman emphasized that Kitty is particularly qualified to make a connection that no amount of formal medical schooling can reach.

“You know the one thing about a dog is they will never tell your secrets,” Coffman said. “And if a child sees a dog, [the hospital] is not a scary place. I mean if a dog can hang out and have fun so can they.”

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