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Mission Moment by Baxter Brennan

Published on Thursday April 6, 2023

My name is Baxter and I’m a part of the care team at Centra’s Autism and Developmental Services Clinic (CADS). I’ve been a Centra Caregiver for 11 years. Most people tell me I have a calming presence, and I became certified with Therapy Dogs International because Dr. Theresa Brennan thought I had the right obedient, peaceful temperament for the job. 

As an English Labrador Retriever, I enjoy watching birds with Dr. Brennan and spending time with my big family where I’m the only four-legged child. I used to eat lots of apples and carrots for treats, but recently, I’ve really been into the chewable treats that have omega three fatty acids packed inside—they’re tasty and they help me stay healthy—so I can do the things I love.

I’ve been told that my ears are very soft and silky, and that it helps others to relax when they stroke them (even the parents of the kids I visit with)! I enjoy spending time with my co-workers at the CADS Clinic and the Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital Neurodevelopmental Clinic. The reception, office staff and therapists don’t mind if I visit them and sometimes they even come to visit me!

Speaking of things I love, being a part of the group at CADS is what makes me wag my tail the most! I feel like I’ve done a good job and that I’ve carried out Centra’s mission of, “improving the health and quality of life for the communities we serve,” when a crying patient sees me and stops crying. Oftentimes, the child sits next to me on the floor and pats me while they talk to Dr. Brennan, or they will talk to me even if they are too shy to talk to Dr. Brennan. That’s one of my favorite activities.

Every day holds excitement because there are new people to meet and more naps to take, but my favorite part of each day is knowing that I’ve made a child’s day a little brighter or helped someone to feel a little bit calmer. Woof, woof!