Four-Legged Friends Help The Sick 9/27/13
CBS 7 News
September 27, 2013
ODESSA, TX—A new local program hopes to ease Home Hospice patients with the help of some four-legged friends.
The picture to the right is of Abbey, she's TDI (Therapy Dogs International) certified, and is the first dog to join the Patient Paws Program.
Karen Carter, the Community Relations Director for Home Hospice, says the love of an animal has a powerful and positive impact greater than anyone can imagine.
"I have seen the difference that dogs can make in the worlds of people who are struggling with illness, so there was always something for me there to be able to say, lets make this happen," said Carter.
The dogs in the program need to receive special certification training, and once they pass, they will be able to visit patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and wherever a little companionship and unconditional love is needed.
Donna James, the owner of Abbey, lost her brother 12 years ago and says Abbey was a gift that was meant to help her cope.
"I just knew what a tremendous blessing she's been in my life and the healing process. If she could be just a tenth of that to someone else, just to bring some happiness and a smile in their life, is what I would really like to do," said James.
If you or someone you know has a dog, and is interested in becoming part of the program, you can call Karen Carter at 432-580-9990.