Sheryl Katzanek & Rylie
My name is Rylie and I have been matched to become a therapy dog at Boston Medical Center (BMC). I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. In this role, I will visit patients, families and staff at the hospital and bring with me compassion, caring and a pleasant diversion from hospital life.
As you may know, a program called “Healing Paws” was created last year at BMC. I’d like to share with you two quick stories. An elderly patient who suffered a devastating stroke showed no signs of interaction with staff or visitors until a curly coated retriever named Holden walked up to the patient and gently placed his snout on the patient’s lap. The patient began slowly petting Holden while her family watched in disbelief. The patient’s daughter tearfully remarked “this is the first sign we’ve seen that she is in there.”
A homeless patient stopped a Healing Paws dog named Dexter as he and his handler were walking in a park. The gentleman turned to the dog and said “I remember you—you were the only visitor I had during my entire hospitalization”.
The most important impact of the Healing Paws program, however, was felt in the days and weeks following the Boston Marathon bombings. While patients, family members and staff at BMC struggled through the difficult days, my Healing Paws friends were busy offering comfort in ways that no one else could.
Now, I have the chance to continue at the hospital what Dexter and Holden started. Will you please help? The true cost of all of my specialized training is over $25, 000. I have been asked to raise $9,500 of the full amount. All donations are tax deductible and much appreciated!
Thank you in advance for your kind consideration. Please don’t hesitate to contact my new handler, Sheryl Katzanek with any questions.