Texas Children’s Hospital Just Hired A New Employee: Elsa, The Therapy Dog

The Golden Retriever will interact with children fighting illnesses.

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Elsa on the job at Texas Children's Hospital. Via Texas Children's/Twitter
Elsa on the job at Texas Children's Hospital. Via Texas Children's/Twitter
Cari Jorgensen

Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) in Houston has added a new full-time employee to its staff. Elsa walks the hospital grounds, tirelessly visiting each child who needs help coping with their illness… or any child who just needs a little pick-me-up.

How does Elsa do it? By being a lovable Golden Retriever, of course.

Elsa, who’s funded by a donor family, works at TCH with her handler, Sarah Herbek. When she’s working, she’s wearing her official therapy dog uniform: a green vest complete with a photo ID. The consummate professional, Elsa has received rave reviews for the work she’s done.

“She’s always very calm when she’s working,” Herbek told ABC 13. Her calm demeanor may be part of what the children love about her. Molly LeBlanc, one of the patients Elsa visits, is battling polycystic kidney disease and recently had both her kidneys removed, ABC 13 reports. Her mother, Jill LeBlanc, said that Elsa helped the team get the little girl to stand up for the first time. Now, Molly is ready to go anytime she sees Elsa or hears that she’s visiting. It was likely a gift the LeBlanc family won’t soon forget.

From the sound of it, many other families won’t either.

“It takes us a long time to get anywhere,” Herbek told ABC 13. “People stop us every three feet.”

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