Season 1: Episode 12

Hope and Will: A Parenting Podcast from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Special Episode: Untold Stories of Our Facility Dogs

Since the launch of this inaugural season, you—our listeners—have helped make Hope and Will a top-ranked parenting podcast. As we head into a brief summer hiatus, we’re closing out our first season with an unforgettable conversation: a behind-the-scenes, all-access pass to get to know our furry fleet of facility dogs. In 2009, a team of innovators right here at Children’s pioneered the first facility dog program ever at a stand-alone pediatric hospital.

This episode’s guests share never-before-heard stories featuring our Canines For Kids Program. You’ll learn what it takes to become a facility dog, as well as the impact our dogs make on sick and injured kids—from helping to reduce the need for sedation to providing comfort after trauma.

Buckle up. You’re about to laugh, cry—and hear stories sure to stay with you for a lifetime. Whether you’re a dog lover or someone thirsty for stories that soothe the soul, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Originally Aired: May 24, 2023

Diane Henley, Emma’s Mom

As a longtime hematology/oncology nurse at Children’s, Diane had witnessed the power of our Canines For Kids Program since its inception in 2009. While her daughter recovered from a life-threatening brain infection in 2021, she gained an even deeper appreciation for the dogs’ healing powers.

Lisa Kinsel, Casper’s Handler

As Manager of Volunteer Services at our Scottish Rite campus, Lisa found her calling when she took an idea sapling—to give dogs a more permanent presence within our hospital halls—and championed it into reality. Lisa is best known as dog mom to Casper, the beloved Pawtriarch of our Canines For Kids Program.

Kara Klein, Bella and Reggie’s Handler and Child Life Specialist

Having seen firsthand the soothing impact dogs could make on patients suffering from trauma, abuse and neglect, Kara helped champion the arrival of Bella, our second-ever facility dog. Upon Lisa’s retirement in 2018, Kara proudly took on the role of leading our Canines For Kids Program.

Dr. Jana Stockwell, Tidings’ Handler and Pediatric Critical Care Physician

Dr. Stockwell cares for some of our most medically fragile patients. When Tidings, a gentle goofball of a goldendoodle, found his way to her, the duo quickly became a life-changing force for patients, families and staff in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith is a veteran journalist, podcast host and mom of two boys. Her experience as the parent of a patient at Children’s inspired her to advocate for spreading awareness of childhood illnesses and injuries. As proud dog mom to Captain, a golden retriever, she’s particularly passionate about this episode!