Skip to Content
Default Alt Text for the banner

Child Life Facility Dog

We'd love you to meet Dorian, a full-time canine in residence at Golisano Children's Hospital, seen here with one of our young patients.

Meet Dorian

Dorian is a golden doodle mix that works on the Pediatric Medical/Surgery and Pediatric Intensive Care units with his primary and secondary handlers. He also responds to consults throughout Golisano Children’s Hospital including on the Hematology/Oncology Unit, Pediatric Sedation Center and Pre-op.

A certified child life specialist handles Dorian, who lives at home with his primary handler.

Dorian’s favorite things to do are snuggling with patients, taking naps, and chasing lizards during his breaks at work.

  • Birthday: Dec. 10, 2017
  • Favorite Toy: Squeaking hedgehog
  • Favorite things to do outside of work: Nap, chase squirrels and lizards on long walks
  • Favorite thing about his job: Building relationships with patients and making them smile
  • Fun Fact: Dorian was born into a littler of seven boy dogs and many of them work as facility dogs in hospitals across the country

What Does a Facility Dog Do?

A facility dog, or hospital-based community service dog, is a dog that is professionally trained to work in a healthcare setting. They become partners with an employee of the hospital where they work.

These dogs are an important part of a patient’s treatment plan and can assist in meeting clinical goals, through creative interventions, determined by the healthcare team.

Dorian is a part of the child life team and works at the hospital full-time (Monday through Friday). He works as a team with his handlers, two certified child life specialists, to provide support and comfort, enhance a patient and family’s coping with healthcare experiences and, overall, improves the patient experience at the hospital.

Dorian was born and raised at a nonprofit organization in Milton, GA called Canine Assistants. He was trained using a bond-based approach.

Funding for Dorian was provided through a grant by Dunkin Donuts’ Joy in Childhood Foundation.

How can Dorian support your child during their healthcare experience?

  • Provide an alternate focus and comfort for patients during painful procedures
  • Teaching patients about upcoming tests and procedures
  • Encourage patients to ambulate after surgery and during hospitalization
  • Ease stress and anxiety of patients and families through physical contact and soft touch
  • Non-pharmacological support for pain management
  • Support for patient and family at end-of-life and bereavement

Contact Us

If you feel that your child would benefit from Dorian’s support during their healthcare experience, please contact the child life specialist on your unit.

You can follow Dorian’s adventures on Instagram by following @dorian_thedoodle!