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When a Dog Makes a Difference at the End of Life

Therapy dogs can comfort people in hospice as well as their families


Part of the Living to the End of Life Special Report

(Editor’s note: This story is part of a special report for The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

Even on the darkest of days, seeing a photo of Bailey, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever, can bring a smile to  your face.

Her owner, Holly Parker of Chanhassen, Minn., realized early on that her dog was special. After going through obedience classes with her, Parker said she wondered whether taking pet therapy classes together might provide both of them with a nice outlet for serving others. She is now a member of North Star Therapy Animals, which offers hospice therapy. Not all hospice organizations offer pet therapy, so if having a furry friend with you at the end of life is important to you, be sure to let your family know.

Watch our video to learn more about Bailey:

By Shayla Thiel Stern
Shayla is the former Director of Editorial and Content for Next Avenue at Twin Cities PBS.@shayla_stern

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