Katie's Diary

PAT dog power

26th May 2014

Ralf is an important member of staff at Royal Children's Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia. He isn't a Doctor or a Nurse, he is a PAT dog.

When Ralf the giant Schnauzer does his hospital rounds, he is sure to give patients a new leash of life.

With his shaggy coat and floppy tongue, the dog has gained a reputation as something of a miracle worker since joining Royal Children's Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia.

The selfless pooch walks the wards and looks in on his young patients every Monday. He even sits with some during gruelling chemotherapy therapy sessions.

Ralf got two-year-old Claire Couwenberg to walk for the first time in the five days since her surgery to remove a cancerous kidney (above), and he brought a smile to 15-month-old Zeke Harrison, who has a rare genetic disorder where his body is unable to break down protein and too much can kill him (below).

Healer: Ralf brought a smile to 15-month-old Zeke Harrison, who has a rare genetic disorder where his body is unable to break down protein and too much can kill him

Ralf is one of a handful of dogs to visit the RCH each week in a program that has been boosted so more pooches are popping in on more little patients.

Claire's mother, Marie McPhee, told of her amazement when her daughter stood up and walked of her own accord when Ralf came into the room.

'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,' Ms McPhee told the Sydney Herald.

'I'm lost for words. In a way, I can't believe it.'

Official: Ralf is an important member of staff at Royal Children's Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia
PAT dog power

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