On July 17, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia threw a heartwarming party for its young patients. Dubbed the “Best Friends Bash,” the party allowed young human craniofacial patients to meet and interact with dogs who had suffered and recovered from similar injuries — canine craniofacial patients, as it were.
As you can imagine, this went over quite well with the children.
“It was incredibly powerful watching these remarkable kids interact with these remarkable dogs,” said John Lewis, VMD, associate professor of dentistry and oral surgery at Penn Vet, who provided the dogs. “These canine patients serve as specialized therapy dogs, so children can really relate to them. Since the dogs and children are dealing with the same problems and treatments, there’s an instant bond that allows the children to realize they are not alone.”
Dogster readers might remember Lentil from our earlier story. The French Bulldog puppy, who had surgery to repair his cleft palate and became a Facebook celebrity, joined three other stellar patients from Penn Vet: Georgia, a Gordon Setter who had a cancer removed from her upper jaw; Buddy, a Golden Retriever who had part of his lower jaw removed; and Rosie, a Golden Retriever therapy dog who had part of her foot removed due to a tumor.
The event was a hit with the kids, who loved interacting with dogs.
“It’s really about the awareness of appearance,” Scott Bartlett, Children’s Hospital chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, told Philly.com. “The dog is an ideal vehicle. They have unconditional love.”