Watch What Happens When a Therapy Dog Wears a GoPro Camera to Children's Hospital
"Sometimes we have these 'wow' moments when we have breakthroughs with kids who haven't spoken or smiled in weeks or longer," Hank's owner said.
You'll never understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes, but what about walking a mile in a service dog's paws?
That's exactly what the Seattle Children's Hospital sought to do when they attached a GoPro camera to comfort dog Hank.
"I was a little bit surprised seeing it from the dog's perspective," his owner Tom Whalen told InsideEdition.com, although he accompanies Hank to every hospital visit. "I'm usually too distracted and making sure everything is going properly."
"It's amazing. Sometimes we have these 'wow' moments when we have breakthroughs with kids who haven't spoken or smiled in weeks or longer," Whalen said. "Parents or family members get real teary-eyed just seeing their child happy for the short time."
He explained that he and Hank would visit patients at a hospital every week — one week, he has visits with child patients and the other, he visits with elderly patients.
"It's interesting seeing his behavior with really tiny children that can't walk yet," the dog's owner said. "He's really their caregiver."
Hank came to Whalen as a 9-week-old puppy, but even then, Whalen said he was confident in his destiny to become a comfort dog.
But his decision to train Hank was inspired by his brother, who was in the hospital on and off for many years when he was a young boy.
He said he noticed his brother was always lonely, yet did not always have enough energy to entertain visitors all the time, "so the dog is kind of ideal. A patient doesn't have to entertain an animal."
While he's always on his best behavior at the hospital, Whalen told InsideEdition.com when his pooch is off duty, he's just like any other pet dog who loves playing fetch, lounging on the couch and going for the occasional hike.
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