Captain Cowpants, affectionately known as “Cappy”, and his handler, Melissa, visit regularly at the University of Utah hospital and with teens in the Teenscope program. Referring to the teens, Cappy’s handler Melissa says, “He absolutely ADORES them. Each week, he slides in on his belly, and the group just instantly diffuses. The kids always ask great questions and Captain goes around and literally sits on each of them (yes, 70 lb dog climbs into their lap like he’s a 3 lb chihuahua). He spends time with each and every kid, and sometimes we have up to 20 in the group.” The adoration is mutual. “The teens just really respond to Cappy, and we always have wonderful talks with the rotating groups. On occasion, they will post things on his Facebook page about how they miss him or appreciate him. This always warms my heart because so many of these kids are hurting emotionally or having trouble connecting with others,” said Melissa.
“One day in our group at UNI, there was one young girl who was particularly withdrawn. We tried to engage with her as we do with all of the kids, but she really just wanted to fade into the background of the group. I was worried she wouldn’t feel included or part of the group. At the end of the group, we reached out to her again, and she handed Cappy and I the attached drawing. I teared up pretty hard. We reached her in her own way, and she expressed that creatively, by drawing Captain. When she saw how much it meant to us, she took some time one on one to pet Captain. This was a good 8 months ago, and that drawing still proudly hangs on our refrigerator!” – Melissa