Therapy dogs comfort nursing home residents for Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve a local organization brought a group of therapy dogs to 13 nursing homes.

CEDAR PARK, TEXAS - While most of us are spending the holidays with friends and family, some who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes are not. 

The Dog Alliance's Bow Wow Therapy Dog Program is working to keep the holiday blues at bay for those folks. On Christmas Eve the organization brought a group of therapy dogs to 13 homes. It's something The Dog Alliance has been doing for over a decade. 

Pet therapy, or animal-assisted therapy, uses the trained animals and their handlers to achieve specific goals with patients. Volunteers with The Dog Alliance said physical contact with a pet can lower blood pressure, release endorphins and develop cognitive skills and communication capabilities. 

"Just seeing the look on everybody's face is why I keep doing this," said Dog Alliance's Kristina Hedge. "I think it really brings about the Christmas spirit."

"It's great to think that someone will take the time to bring them," said resident Carolyn Stone. 

The therapy dogs make these home visits all year long. They also visit with veterans and participate in helping at-risk children as they learn how to read. 

© 2018 KVUE-TV


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