Methodist Healthcare
October 04, 2021

Over the past year and a half, frontline workers have endeared a lot battling the coronavirus pandemic. Methodist Hospital is overjoyed to announce the welcoming of their newest facility dog, Major, a 2-year-old golden retriever equipped with the skills to help comfort hospital staff and patients.

Nothing brings more joy than four paws, a wet nose, and a wagging tail! Major and his handler, Kirsta Deboy, Critical Care Manager for the Lung Rescue ICU, will work together as partners to help adult ICU staff cope with long hours and stressful situations as well as provide comfort to patients and families going through difficult medical situations, procedures, and diagnoses. 

The natural connection people have with dogs allows staff to implicitly vent emotions they may normally choose not to share at work. The presence of a facility dog on the adult intensive care units will help improve staff’s wellbeing by providing a safe, judgement-free connection and reducing stress.

"Major will be a unique addition to the adult ICU service line as he is the first of his kind in this area," said Kirsta. "He will bring joy and smiles to the staff and patients and will aid in stressful events. I'm excited to be his handler and can't wait to watch the enjoyment he will bring to our hospital."

Major was gifted to Methodist Hospital from Patient Paws Service Dogs, Inc., a non-profit organization which provides facility dogs to hospitals to benefit patients, their families and facility staff. Major is Methodist Hospital’s first full-time facility dog designated strictly to adult care. His arrival comes at a pivotal time, and staff have already welcomed their new four-legged employee with open arms – and lots of snuggles.