Motivation and support comes in many forms, including a cold nose and a warm heart. With that in mind, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) is thrilled to introduce its first Facility Dog, Posey, a golden retriever/lab mix, born on September 29, 2018.
What is a Facility Dog?
Posey, our RMHC Facility Dog, is a part of our staff as a working dog. She was carefully matched with our Child Life Team by the Canine Companions for Independence. The dedicated time to train with her so they could learn the best way to utilize her amazing abilities. Posey knows over 40 commands. She can pull toy wagons, push drawers close, retrieve all kinds of items and most importantly, she interacts with our patients in a calming way to encourage children through their medical journey. She even has the potential to learn more as she bonds with our teams and gets comfortable in her new job.
Who takes care of Posey?
Thanks to the commitment of the RMHC Child Life team and financial support from Rocky Mountain Children's Health Foundation donors, Kylie's Krew and PetSmart Charities, Posey is well cared for. She has been fitted with equipment, dog supplies, food, and exceptional grooming between patient visits and regularly scheduled visits to the vet and groomer.
We ask that all patients, their families and hospital staff refrain from giving snacks or toys to the dog. It is important that we keep Posey at her ideal weight so she has a long working life for our patients, is well fed and does not rely on treats to perform commands.
Can I request Posey visit my child while in the hospital?
Please email our Child Life Team for more information on pediatric patient visits.
How did RMHC get a Facility Dog?
In 2019, the Child Life team at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) started on a journey to introduce a Facility Dog for RMHC patients. The team could never have imagined the passion, community involvement and commitment this program would inspire.
Progress on the program stalled along the way, but all it took was the fire and determination of one very special young lady, Kylie Schwartz. Kylie was a beautiful young woman on her way to a career in human resources when her life was cruelly derailed by rhabdomyosarcoma. Kylie underwent grueling courses of chemotherapy and radiation and was able to achieve remission for a few months in 2019. However, as fall turned to winter Kylie's cancer returned. When the news of relapse struck, Kylie decided the most important work of her life would be to leave behind a legacy of gratitude and love.
Kylie set her mind to fulfilling the dream of a facility dog program for all the kids at RMHC that would go through similar treatments as she did. She began a course of giving that lit a brilliant path for everyone she encountered. Before passing on December 12, 2019 she inspired others to support her dream of a facility dog program at RMHC and so Kylie's Krew was born. This is a group of volunteers who loved Kylie and are committed to keeping Kylie's dream alive.
As Kylie's Krew gain momentum together with the Rocky Mountain Children's Health Foundation, the financial requirements for a Facility Dog were in reach. Assisted by a significant grant from PetSmart Charities, RMHC had everything needed to launch the Paws for RMHC program.
With continued support from the community, the RMCHF will lead ongoing fundraising efforts to ensure the program success for years to come.
We invite you to follow us as we embark on our journey with Posey.
Get updates from our Paws for RMHC Program on Instagram.
How can I support this program?
The PAWS for RMHC facility dog program is funded by our friends at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. You can support Posey’s journey by making a donation to the Foundation or by purchasing one of our fun program shirts. Your generosity will provide funds for direct animal care, pet supplies, and PAWS for RMHC materials.
Here are two ways to support the program:
Buy a PAWS for RMHC shirt to wear out and about
All proceeds from sales of the shirts will directly fund the PAWS for RMHC program.
Make a gift to Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation
Gifts can be made in any amount and are automatically designated to the PAWS for RMHC program.