‘Gouda’ works every day at Pediplay to meet children and make connections
INDIANAPOLIS – An amputee golden retriever puppy found her forever at home through an orthopedic center and child therapy clinic.
It started when a team member at Kenney Orthopedics in Greenwood learned of a breeder with a puppy born without a front leg.
Jenn Rosati contacted Pediplay, a pediatric therapy clinic looking for a therapy dog to see if they were interested. Within minutes Morgan Doelling volunteered to adopt the puppy.
“I immediately called my fiancé and said, ‘Hey, I have a really cute puppy.’ After he was on board, we contacted the breeder and she said she really thought Gouda was born for a reason,” said Doeling, speech therapist and assistant clinical director at Pediplay.
Doeling named the 13-week-old puppy Gouda because of the color of her coat. She wanted a fun name that kids could say.
“We were just looking for a therapy dog. I never thought it would be all we wanted in one special dog. Coming here from day one and loving everyone so much, it’s just crazy. It’s such a sign that she’s where she needs to be,” Doelling said.
Gouda is the first three-legged patient of Kenney Orthopedics.
“As she grows, we work to protect that limb by making sure she doesn’t hit it off or on skin damage,” said Jenn Rosati, a CPO at Kenney Orthopedics who sees pediatric patients who also go to Pediplay.
The team created a limb protector for Gouda by using a harness to secure it. Because she is growing so fast, they are waiting to make a prosthesis for her.
“Gouda resembles children in that she is very wobbly, just like most of our children. She takes a little bribe to do what we want so we always have lots of goodies. We have toys. We’re playing,” Rosati said.
Gouda goes to work at Pediplay with her mother every day to meet children and make connections. She is the clinic’s first therapy dog.
“We want them to feel safe and calm and if we see a dog going through the same things they do, we thought it would be really neat,” Doeling said.
So excited to share this story tonight! Gouda is a golden retriever puppy who was born with three legs.
She found her forever home through Kenney Orthopedics & PediPlay. Gouda will serve as a therapy dog for the pediatric therapy clinic! What a perfect match!!❤️🐾 @WTHRcom pic.twitter.com/nPdSmTfcHz
— Lauren Kostiuk (@laurenkostiuk_) August 6, 2021
The children of the clinic are already crazy about Gouda.
“One of the children cried and as soon as he saw Gouda, he ran to her and cried no more. I’ve had kids say to me, “She wears braces just like me.” I think they can always connect that way, where something is similar, and they can feel like life is getting more normal. It’s pretty magical,” said Stephany Jenkins, Pediplay’s clinic director.
Gouda is going to take classes to become an official therapy dog. She will also perform at some Kenney Orthopedics events for their amputees throughout the year.
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