Unconventional Therapist: Cold nose warms hearts

    6:26 AM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- At the Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute, dogs aren't just welcomed, they're invited. Part of patient Laverne Coleman's treatment is being around Molly, a therapy dog.

    She enjoys it so much, she's even encouraging others to participate, too. "They should try it," she says. "They really should try it. It's a marvelous thing."

    Molly's trainer, Kay Russell, believes golden retrievers make wonderful therapy dogs. "It's just their temperament and their willingness to please. And for the most part they love people," she explains.

    Molly is a hit with all the patients and makes them forget why they were even there.

    In addition to emotional benefits, patients who participate in pet therapy also experience physical benefits like lower blood pressure. "The dogs don't care what your health situation is. They just want to be there with you, and want to please and make you feel better," Kay adds.

    With furry paws and a wagging tail, Molly leaves a lasting impression on those she meets.

    Laverne has already grown attached to Molly and says, "I'm going to miss her when I leave. I would like to take her with me! I hope she'll be here tomorrow. I'll be looking for her."

    Molly is certified through Therapy Dogs International and has been helping patients for sic years. If you think your dog has the qualities needed to be a good therapy dog, visit tdi-dog.org.

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