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Mar 6, 2013 9:05 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Pet therapy dog brings joy to TMC patients

TUCSON- The halls at Tucson Medical Center come alive whenever "Bodhi" walks by.

The Old English Sheep dog is a one of about 50 pet therapy dogs at TMC. "We have everything from five or six pound yorkies, to 160 pound great danes," says Monica Frisbie-Garcia, who helps run the pet therapy program.

News 4 Tucson caught up with Bodhi as he was visiting Nancy DeVoe. She has been at the hospital for more than a week, battling COPD. "It feels like I can't breathe, I'm not getting any oxygen in my lungs," DeVoe says.

But for a short while, Bodhi provides a distraction. "It takes the mind off why we're here," DeVoe says.

Bodhi has a special connection to the patients, since he himself is also a patient. About six months ago doctors diagnosed Bodhi with bone cancer in his shoulder. "It just came on very fast and it was either amputate or go the other route," says Eva Hansen, Bodhi's owner.

Whenever patients meet the three-legged pup, they know they're not the only ones going through a rough time. But no matter the obstacle, they comfort each other with a type of medicine no doctor can prescribe. "They never find fault with humans," DeVoe says. "They always have an open heart."

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