CARMEN, a sweet, yellow Labrador Retriever is now part of the St. Vincent’s Villa and Villa Maria community where she brings comfort and joy to children and staff at the residential treatment program and special education school.
According to Ezra Buchdahl, Administrator of the programs, he participated in a training program of CARMEN at Paws 4 People in North Carolina. Following the training, she also visited the Timonium campus twice and finally arrived for good in April.
“CARMEN helps to alleviate a child’s fears upon her their initial admission to our program,” said Buchdahl. “She also helps children cope with medical procedures, stay calm during therapy, and allay fears when they are expecting a visit from family, or when they are anticipating a pending court proceeding.”
Buchdahl added that CARMEN (all caps because the dog is so special according to Paws4People!) brings unconditional love and understanding to these children, as well as everyone else with whom she comes in contact with at St. Vincent’s Villa,” added Buchdahl.
Children of St. Vincent’s Villa and Villa Maria have mental health and behavioral challenges, often times as a result of a history of trauma, including abuse and neglect.