‘Dogs just love’: Therapy canines help young patients feel better, put smiles on faces

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SEATTLE — For kids facing chronic illness, sometimes the best medicine doesn’t require a prescription at all. Volunteers at one local Ronald McDonald House say real healing can be found in man’s best friend.

Eighteen therapy dogs and their handlers from Project Canine provide some potent healing at this Ronald McDonald House.

With kind eyes and soft disposition, volunteers spend time with the kids and their families. And some count on these dogs nearly as much as they do their doctors.

"A lot of them are going through chemo. A lot of them have had multiple surgeries," Judy Anderson-Wright, president of Project Canine, said of the children. "Some of them are waiting for organ transplants. Some of them are going through bone marrow transplants and it's humbling to me to give something to that child and that family and put a smile on their faces."

Founded in 2006, Project Canine connects therapy dogs with kids. The quiet visits are just that -- a treat.

"Dogs just love," Anderson-Wright said. "They give compassion, they have empathy. If the dogs have a bad day, they don't tell you about it. They're just here to make someone feel good and happy."

Project Canine is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested, they can evaluate you and your dog and see if you might be a match. Here is the link to their website.