Santa Clara Medical Center resumes canine therapy program

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SANTA CLARA — Lorna Brownlie immediately felt better as she ran her fingers through the fur of a 13-year-old rescue poodle named Cooper — a friendly sort who kept her company at Santa Clara Medical Center while waiting to give birth on Monday .

“I went from freaking out in the hospital, now it’s nice to calm down and have some company,” Brownlie said of Cooper. The poodle – who was rescued from the San Martin animal shelter – and his owner, Sandi Kane, have worked with Therapy Dogs International for seven years. “There is nothing better than the innocence of animals… It’s soothing. It distracts you a bit from the thoughts in your mind and the week you’ve been through…so surprisingly, it’s soothing,” Brownlie added.

Patient Lorna Brownlie, main, of Santa Clara, at Kaiser Permanente Labor and Delivery Center, pet rescue, therapy Poodle mix named Cooper Kane, who is approximately 13 to 14 years old, with Therapy Dogs International, in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Brownlie was one of the first patients at Kaiser Permanente Hospital to enjoy a tail-wagging visitor since the facility resumed its canine therapy program, which was suspended during the pandemic. South Bay Hospital has been using canines for healing for nearly 20 years as therapy dogs visit hospitals and convalescent homes to help reduce stress and lower blood pressure in patients.

Cooper’s owner told this news agency that his poodle’s restorative power was both contagious and rewarding.

Cooper Kane, a mix of rescue and therapy poodles, about 13 to 14 years old, sits with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday 21st of October.  17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cooper Kane, a mix of rescue and therapy poodles, about 13 to 14 years old, sits with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday 21st of October. 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

“I see people light up as we walk through the hall, the doctors, the nurses, the staff then the patients, everyone – it puts them in a whole different state of mind – I call them magic moments for everything the world,” Kane said. “Most people say ‘you changed my day, it’s just different now’ and it only takes a few minutes. It’s so easy and simple. [Cooper] brings a lot of calm and allows people to forget for a moment where they are, which in most cases is great.

Cooper Kane, a rescue and therapy poodle mix, about 13 to 14 years old, looks on in a room with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, October 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cooper Kane, a rescue and therapy poodle mix, about 13 to 14 years old, looks on in a room with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, October 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Patient Lorna Brownlie, center, of Santa Clara, at Kaiser Permanente Labor and Delivery Center, pet rescue, therapy Poodle mix named Cooper Kane, who is around 13 to 14, with owner Sandi Kane , far right, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Patient Lorna Brownlie, center, of Santa Clara, at Kaiser Permanente Labor and Delivery Center, pet rescue, therapy Poodle mix named Cooper Kane, who is around 13 to 14, with owner Sandi Kane , far right, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cooper Kane, a mix of rescue and therapy poodles, about 13-14 years old, stands with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, October 1.  17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cooper Kane, a mix of rescue and therapy poodles, about 13-14 years old, stands with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, October 19. 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cooper Kane, far right, a mix of rescue and therapy poodles, about 13 to 14 years old, walks with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara , Calif., Monday, October 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cooper Kane, far right, a mix of rescue and therapy poodles, about 13 to 14 years old, walks with owner Sandi Kane, of Campbell, with Therapy Dogs International, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara , Calif., Monday, October 17, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
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