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Therapy Dog Gives Hope To Patients On International Dog Day

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Image from Alexandra Koehn/Twitter via News Channel 5

Every year on August 26, people celebrate International Dog Day to honor all dogs and promote adoption for those who haven’t yet found a permanent home and family. 

This campaign was started in 2004 by author, dog trainer, and conservationist Collen Paige in support of the pet lifestyle and animal welfare advocacy. It was declared and celebrated as a national holiday in 2013. Later, other countries began observing it formally by providing food, shelter, and grooming for dogs.

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And on this year’s International Dog Day, a therapy dog from TriStar Skyline Medical Center is giving patients hope.

Sky is a big hit with the patients of the medical center, as seen in a Twitter video.

Burn technician Angel Adams-Dill said, “I think it’s awesome, especially for the kids that we have in the burn unit, being able to have a dog makes them feel a lot more comfortable.” 

The hospital’s CEO claims that he got the inspiration for the idea while working with his retired therapy dog, Malibu, on Thanksgiving during the pandemic. He said a young boy with a head injury was non-verbal until he brought the dog into the room. The patient then inquired about Malibu’s paws. The idea of a therapy dog program was inspired by this.

Nurse Andrea Palmer said she’s witnessed the therapeutic value of animals.

“Sometimes you see somebody that’s really depressed, and so that little bit of happiness is what they need to kind of take that turn for the better,” Palmer said.

Sky got to take a short break before touring the trauma ICU. He also has toys in a roomy office. He enjoys munching on the ice chips that the nurses and doctors offer him while he is free.

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