Baskin and Agnes got their full-time jobs at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital through the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation's Dogs for Joy program.

By Kelli Bender
October 06, 2020 05:09 PM
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Courtesy of Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program

Baskin and Agnes are on duty.

The two therapy dogs recently started working full-time at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. Both Baskin, an adorable one-year-old golden retriever, and Agnes,  a sweet two-year-old goldendoodle, are part of the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation's Dogs for Joy program.

The Dogs for Joy program is dedicated to training and placing more full-time, in-residence service dogs in children's hospitals, and is part of the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation's overall work to improve the lives of kids affected by hunger and illness. As part of the program, Baskin and Agnes were specially-trained in skills that help and comfort hospitalized children. The dedicated dogs have learned how to calm children during medical procedures, teach kids to take pills, and model hospital gowns.

Courtesy of Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program

Baskin and Agnes are now putting these skills, and many more, to work at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. In their first week on the job they have already provided immeasurable comfort to patients, their families, and the hospital's staff, helping lower stress and anxiety rates across the facility.

Courtesy of Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program

"These special dogs not only bring joy to children battling illness but serve an important role within a child's treatment team. By joining the children’s hospital team, Baskin and Agnes will provide comfort and joy to hundreds of pediatric patients and their family members, Kari McHugh, Executive Director of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, said in a statement. "The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is always seeking ways to help kids feel like kids, even on their most difficult days. Nothing brings joy more than four paws, a wet nose, and a wagging tail."

Courtesy of Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program

The smiles that follow Baskin and Agnes wherever they go are why the Dogs for Joy program exists. The recently-hired canines are two of the 15 full-time pediatric service dogs the program has helped place in over a dozen children’s hospitals across the country — a number that has positively transformed thousands of lives already.