St. Lewis, MO (KMOV) – Let me introduce Odin, the therapy dog at Cardinals Children’s Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital in Crieff-Core. A 5-year-old black Labrador goes from room to room, spending time and giving love to sick children and their families while the kids are undergoing treatment.
“The first day when I came here, I was nervous, and then I saw him and said, ‘Dog! “I fell in love with Audi. It reminds me of my dogs at home,” said Anna, a 14-year-old ovarian cancer patient.
On this day, Anna and Odin celebrated by declaring that she is cancer-free and in remission. Anna Auden embraces Auden long and sincerely and thanks him for being there every step of her journey.
According to Anna Carla Woods’ grandmother, it was Odin who made the biggest difference to her as she went through all the difficult and painful treatments.
“It gave her the purpose to come here. She always looks forward to seeing Odin. Woods said it makes her treatments more bearable.” I’m not sure how well she would have made it through without him. We are thankful.
Although Odin is beneficial for children, it is crucial to many parents by helping them deal with their children’s illness.
said Katie Rowland, whose 2-year-old daughter Emma works and is a patient at the center. “Odin brings so much comfort to not only her, but me as well.”
As a result of what Auden has given the Roland family, they plan to get a dog soon, that will be a Labrador Retriever with some big shoes to fill.
Odin’s qualities do not stop with all his good deeds. The fangs of many talents are usually seen striking Santa Claus during the Christmas season or playing the role of a genie on St. Patrick’s Day. Odin has also been known to chase and retrieve a tennis ball or two and return it to an excited little boy or girl.
It was a long process to get Odin. In 2018, the center applied for a therapy dog through DUO, an organization that trains utility and service dogs. It was a long process that involved DUO visiting the center to find out what kind of dog would best suit the center’s needs. Once approved, the dog selection process took months, but in February 2019, DUO contacted the center to let them know they were receiving a two-year-old black Lab named Odin.
DUO Odin underwent four months of intense training and then an additional 40 hours of training with his therapist, Laura Hanks, before being introduced to the center. Hanks, the center’s social worker and patient advocate, knew right away that Odin was just the right person.
“He’s been trained to just lie there and accept all the love he gets and there are a lot of hands on his face,” she said. “Let’s just say some of the kids are really excited about it and he’s gotten to grips with it. It’s very special.”
Like Yadi and Waino, their partnership exists to provide happiness, joy, and victory when you need one. It is a relationship of mutual trust, common purpose and passion.
“It makes it easy. When I’m ready to take him to a patient, he jumps in and comes with him. A lot of my job is to support patients, and he helps me calm them down. He lives with my family and I, and when we leave the house every day, he knows he has a job to do.” “I can’t imagine coming to work without him,” Hanks said.
Not everything works with Odin. After a day at the centre, he might relax by taking a walk, catching a ball with Hanks’ other dogs or perhaps taking a dip in the lake.
Laura Hanks says lake jumping is one of Odin’s “favorite things in life.”
If Odin could talk, like any hero, I think he’d probably tell us he didn’t want the trophies and was just doing his job. The job he loves and was born to do.
Odin works hard, but also enjoys playing with his furry family members at home.
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