COLORADO SPRINGS — Two-year-old Lammon has a pretty busy schedule at EDCare Colorado Springs.
“Lammon does a really great job of noticing when someone is in distress, whether that’s anxiety or sadness. He’ll go right up to them, put his head in their lap, soothe them. So, it’s just a nice addition to the program, just another support that our patients can benefit from,” said Michelle Evans, Adult and Adolescent Program coordinator for EDCare Colorado springs.
The Labrador and Golden Retriever mix came to the organization as a facility dog from Canine Companions in July.
Lammon acts as a therapy dog, working with patients with eating disorders.
“Lammon can be very calming, so if someone is feeling fairly high distress or an emotion of some kind, it’s going to be more difficult to communicate clearly and think through that. With Lammon kind of being there to act as a soother and someone that’s comforting, something that they can pet and kind of distract themselves from. I think that does allow better tolerance of what’s going on, help them kind of regulate emotions a little bit better. Which then, hopefully, will allow them to express and communicate what’s going on,” Evans said.
Evans says she knew having a facility dog would be beneficial for patients of all ages.
“If someone is struggling or feeling anxious, he goes right up to them, doesn’t hesitate. He does a beautiful job of being comfortable if there are big emotions in the room or intense emotions. He’s very at ease in those moments, which I think helps with the calming,” Evans said.
Since bringing Lammon in, Evans has noticed her patients being happier, with a lighter mood in the room.
She says, thanks to Lammon, they can destress and lower their anxiety after a discussion.
“If we leave a group and it was pretty difficult for whatever reason, having some downtime where they can interact with Lammon, play catch with him, or just snuggle. That’s been really helpful before meals, which can also be a stressful time here,” Evans said.
And while Lammon is always looking for someone to snuggle, he never sways from his calling.
“And he also offers some comedic relief every now and then. He sometimes snores in the middle of groups or he’ll make some kind of funny noise. So, it’s nice to have his presence around here,” Evans said.