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A day in the life of a therapy dog at Ann Arbor's Mott Children's Hospital

A day in the life of a therapy dog at the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital
A day in the life of a therapy dog at the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital 02:33

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Therapy dogs play a key role in the patient experience at CS Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. 

The dogs are part of the Lipschutz-Danzansky Family Paws4Patients Program. 

Patients and staff know them by name and greet them as they make their rounds around the hospital. 

Rebecca Wright is a nurse in the pediatric palliative care unit. 

She arrives to work each day with six-year-old golden retriever Fawn by her side. 

Fawn lives with Wright, who is her main handler, while she works in the hospital to bring warmth and comfort to patients. 

Mid-morning, she arrives in the NICU and greets some nurses who are taking a break to gather their thoughts. 

"We had a rough morning this morning, and our team together was great, but we really needed to see Fawn today," said NICU nurse Lisa Stranges. "It made my morning a little bit better." 

Dashiel is a three-year-old therapy dog who works primarily with oncology patients. 

Carly Reeves is about to receive an infusion when she sees a familiar face. 

"Dashiel!" she shouts down the hall. 

Reeves' mom, Cassandra Mansfield, said Dash has been a steady presence during her time in the hospital. 

"He's a good therapy dog," said Mansfield. "He's helped a lot through our treatment process." 

Alanna Rock's son, Jack, has been in the hospital for nearly two years. 

She said seeing the dogs lifts her mood. 

"No matter how bad of a day you're having, there's just something about a dog for me anyway," said Rock. "You see them with their little golden retriever waddle walking around, and it just makes you laugh." 

"I really enjoy the fact that anywhere Fawn goes, she brings a lot of happiness, smiles and comfort to patients and staff, and families," said Fawn's handler, Wright. "And I think that's really just a big part of what these dogs get to do. They get to come to work every day, which they're very excited about, and they're raised for this. So they absolutely love being here. And then they get to interact with everybody they meet, and I think they really make a big difference anywhere they go." 

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