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The 'Pawfect' way to change a patient's day at McLane Children's Medical Center

Gigi and Lorenzo have teamed up to take care of kids at McLane Children's Medical Center.

TEMPLE, Texas — Whoever let the dogs out did it for a good reason because certain Central Texas patients can now enjoy the company of some furry friends.

Gigi and Lorenzo are two facility dogs that visit patients at Baylor Scott and White McLane Children's Medical Center.

The two furry friends are part of a program run through Canine Companions called Pawsitive Pals, this program allows them into the rooms of patients who might need that extra love from an animal.

This is a nationwide program that has already impacted thousands of lives since its inception in 1975.

Something important to note is that Lorenzo and Gigi have been specially trained to work with these children. They know special commands that help them interact with patients.

Both dogs are very calm and comfortable in every kind of scenario because they've been exposed to many different environments and experiences.

"They cuddle with people when they're feeling sad and they just care about people," Geneveive, a former patient who the dogs worked with said.

The dogs have handlers, Ashley Blackmon and Laura Ingram. They said each dog has their own personality.

"Gigi is a huge snuggler and she loves to take naps," Blackmon said.

Lorenzo has a way of showing off his elegance by always crossing his feet and doing with Blackmon and Ingram call his "fancy paws."

"He's there for patients that are going through painful treatment," Ingram said. "Lorenzo lays on the bed and becomes that calming support the patient needs."

Both Ingram and Blackmon have a background in social work, so they're used to working with children who have past trauma or those who are in the hospital because of it currently.

They said even they can have a hard time when working with the patients and having the dogs there helps them too.

"Having them there can even make it easier to interview the kids," Ingram added.

To make everything even better, the canines sometimes come to see the children in costumes. They dress up for holidays so that the patients can get a sense of normalcy.

Sometimes moments like that make the kids feel like they aren't in the hospital anymore.

If you would like to learn more about the Pawsitive Pals program, click here.

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