Doctor Snoopy, the dog that accompanies patients at the Institut Curie

Since mid-December, the dog Snoopy has been wandering the corridors of the Institut Curie to relax patients in the waiting room or in consultation. A first in France.

He has not done ten years of medicine and does not have a white coat, but in a few weeks he has become the mascot of the Institut Curie. The dog Snoopy, an English setter, was “hired” at the end of 2022 in this Parisian hospital specializing in the treatment of cancer. Job title: mediation dog. Objective: to relax patients in the waiting room or in consultation, especially those who have difficulty communicating.

“We had to find a simple idea but which could bring a little softness, humanity in the hospital”, explains Maxime Cheron, referent nurse in the wound and healing unit at the Curie institute, who came to the BFMTV set. introduce Snoopy.

“It’s true that it stresses me out less, the care is easier, I’m more relaxed and the tension goes down,” says Denise, a patient. “Snoopy happens, he doesn’t care about cancer! It’s not his problem: he completely gets rid of the disease, it’s a bit magical because for patients, it’s difficult to be here”, rejoices Isabelle Fromantin, nurse researcher at the Institut Curie.

A first

This is the first time in France that a hospital has recruited a dog, full time, in a care unit. Two years old, this English setter was adopted at the Pornic SPA last December… and was chosen on very specific criteria.

“We wanted a medium-sized dog so that it wouldn’t be too impressive, with floppy ears for the ‘reassuring’ side and who would be sociable, who could interact with patients of any age”, explains Marguerite Nicodème, advanced practice nurse.

“For basic questions of hygiene and safety, the dog will never be taken to treatment rooms, preparation rooms or spaces welcoming septic or aplastic patients”, specifies the site of the Institut Curie, whose director Steven Le Gouill says he is very confident about this arrival.

“For our healthcare teams, this is one of the levers to lighten the weight of the days and the emotional load”, he underlines.

Snoopy, his four legs, his wet nose and his droopy ears will therefore continue to wander in the coming weeks in the corridors of the hospital. It therefore brings competition to… Peyo! A horse visiting patients in pediatric or geriatric wards in Calais.

Margaux de Frouville, Caroline Dieudonné and Philippine David, with Ariel Guez

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