Hawthorne Walk-in Clinic

Start Date: 2021-03-16

Description: This was a three-day deployment for the staff of a very busy walk-in crisis clinic that provides mental health and addiction support and care. During the Covid-19 pandemic clinic staff was significantly more stressed than usual and HOPE dogs were requested by administration to give staff some calming downtime. Dogs and handlers stayed in a small lobby area adjacent to the staff room where only staff would have access. Deployment length was 2 hours. A 3-day deployment was requested so all staff regardless of work schedule would have the opportunity to spend time with the dogs. The environment was very low key and the staff commented on how helpful the visits had been. The dogs were an immediate hit and several staff members visited more than once and some spent time with the dogs on all three days, speaking to the emotional need for some furry downtime and the wisdom of the administration in recognizing the need. The area where we were located was small and on the second day when two dogs were present handlers received many compliments on how well behaved the dogs were and how they ignored each other. All three dogs demonstrated their individual abilities to provide comfort and elicit smiles (and a few tears): Sebastian, a Keeshond, curled up in laps; Jazzi, a Golden Retriever, melted hearts with her liquid brown eyes, expressive eyebrows and insatiable needs for pets; and Gryffindor, an Australian Labradoodle, convinced everyone that receiving tummy rubs was the true expression of hard work. Everyone expressed their thanks and said how much it meant to them to have time with the dogs.

Agency: Hawthorn Walk-In Center, Washington County (Oregon) Crisis Services
Teams: 3/16/21 Liz Schweiker & Jazzi; 3/17/21Liz Schweiker (TL) & Jazzi, MacKenzie Blake & Sebastian; 3/18/21 Ginger Nickel & Gryffindor