Living Well: Rescued Dogs Become Therapy Dogs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Two rescued dogs are using their second chance at life to help people recuperate in the hospital.

They're now therapy dogs and they play a vital role in the recovery process at Baptist Health's Rehabilitation Center.

That's where you'll find man's best friend trotting down the hallways for weekly visits that are sure to bring a lot of laughter and joy in life.

One of them is a Golden Retriever who lights up some of the gloomiest days.

"Just being around them, that it just has a healing process in itself," says
Denisa Malott, Patient.

She looks forward to seeing Maggie and another gentle giant named Harley, twice a week.

"It just brings home to here you know," she continues.

Denisa is in rehab after undergoing back surgery.

Fellow patient Edward Holloway is recovering from foot surgery.

"Makes me want to get home faster," he says of the special visitors.

The therapy dogs are making a big impact in the recovery process.

"It puts a joy inside you that you never knew you had," Edward says.

They bring comfort, hope and smiles. Maggie and Harley's owners see it all the time.

"It's just amazing to see how she connects with people and how they're able maybe to forget the reason they're here for a minute," says Laura Bertram, Volunteer.

"I think he's just a natural. He just went from wheelchair to wheelchair. We had eight patients in there that day and I didn't have to prompt him at all," adds Tom Turner, Volunteer.

Those therapy dogs rescued from the street and taken to a shelter are now committing their lives to rescuing others from pain, grief and solitude.

"It fills a void, I never knew I had," says Edward.

"Yeah, you can't wait until the next time," Denisa adds.

Therapy dog owners say there is a need for more therapy dogs. Training is being offered for free.

Click here to learn more.

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