Facebook_off Twitter_off Pinterest Instagram_off Googleplus_off Youtube_off Emailnewsletter

Welcome to DogHeirs, Where Dogs Are Family! Log in or Sign Up


DogHeirs Tshirts

Giant Schnauzer helps sick children feel better

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | April 01, 2012 | Comments (0)

Ralf helped Claire walk after her surgery
Ralf got two-year-old Claire Couwenberg to walk for the first time
since her surgery to remove a cancerous kidney

Ralf is a Giant Schnauzer known as somewhat of a miracle worker around Royal Chidren's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The companion dog visits sick children each week and as he makes his rounds, he administers his own special "medicine" to his young wards. He sits in with kids during their chemotherapy sessions, lets them give him pats and hugs and makes them smile.

Zeke Harrison, a 15-month-old boy suffering from a rare genetic disorder, smiles each time he sees the dog. "He went straight for Ralf, he loves dogs," said Zeke's mum Jazmin Hall.

Zeke and Ralf
Zeke gets a "helping paw" from Ralf at the Royal Children's Hospital.

When Claire Couwenberg caught sight of Ralf, she was inspired to walk for the first time in the five days, since her surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. Claire's mother, Marie McPhee said: "As soon as she saw him, she stood up, and she very slowly, very wobbly, got on her feet started to walk, and now you can't stop her. I'm lost for words. In a way, I can't believe it."

The Melton toddler, diagnosed with a Wilms' tumour eight weeks ago, amazed everyone when she stood up to take Ralf's leash when handed it. She took Ralf for a walk and led him up and down the hospital.

"It's nice to see her smile today after everything she's been through," McPhee said. "She's got a big dog at home and she loves him to pieces ... she's a real fighter, and she doesn't let much hold her back."

Brenda Kittelty, who organizes the visits and runs the volunteer program, says Ralf is one of a handful of dogs who visit young patients throughout the week. "The dogs bring normality to children in an abnormal, difficult and stressful situation," she said.

Caroline Lovick, who is a volunteer from Lort Smith Animal Hospital, says she brings eight-year-old Ralf to the RCH every Monday. "Today he made a little girl in a halo turn and look without moving her body, and he made a little girl walk, and he sat with another little girl while she was having chemo," Lovick said.

All in a day's work for the four-legged "doctor", who will be back on his rounds again next Monday.

View more articles in: Community News

You may also like

This blind Pug has a special gift. What he does with it moved me to tears.

Xander is a blind pug with a very special gift, which he uses to help the people who need it most - abused children. He lives in Oregon and lost his eyes in an accident. He was adopted from the Klamath Animal Shelter last January by Rodney Beedy, who right away knew he had a special dog. Photo: Facebook/Meet Xander Xander has a wonderful temperment and people at the shelter told Rodney that Xander would...
Read more

Mother's magical photos of her young sons with animals made my heart melt

Russian photographer Elena Shumilova began taking photographs of her two sons, Yaroslav and Vanya, interacting with the dogs in their family and animals on their farm. The resulting photographs capture the elusive and magical relationships that children have with animals. Elena only took up photography in 2012 and told Yahoo Shine that she prefers to use natural light, which she feels gives "emotional depth to the image," adding "I get inspired mainly by desire to...
Read more

Heroic dog saves girls from being sexually abused by stranger

Photos: stock image of street dog Two sisters, 9 and 3 years old, were saved from a child predator by their dog came to the rescue. The girls mother told police she had been trying to rehome their mixed-breed dog and the alleged abuser had come to their home to pick up the dog.  She gave the dog to the man who returned shortly after and returned the dog. Later that day, the two girls...
Read more

Protective puppy instinctively "rescues" little girl from water (VIDEO)

Rosemary was just a puppy when she revealed she had a natural talent for lifeguarding duties. Barbara Marshall Miller shared her family's video with DogHeirs and wrote, "Rosemary, 9-10 months old rescuing our little girl. Nobody taught her this, and she repeated it over and over and over again."   Do you have a fun video you would like to share with DogHeirs? If you have a video that captures something special about our best...
Read more

Puppy finds the most unusual place to sit (VIDEO)

This puppy gets within safe distance of that noisy toy and takes a seat, just not where you'd expect.  Related: Mischievous moments between dogs and kids  Karma strikes after man teases dog 
Read more

Comments on this Article

» View all comments

Add Your Comment!

Log in to leave a comment or Create an account

Spring Sale on T-Shirts

Must See

Follow DogHeirs

Also find us on: DogHeirs on Twitter DogHeirs on Pinterest DogHeirs on Instagram DogHeirs on Google+

Copyright 2015 DogHeirs