Therapy Dog Brings Joy to Veterans Facility
A veterans home in Cameron, Mo. has a new resident. The animal companion offers lots of kisses and tail wagging. Alex the dog has been at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cameron for two months and he’s making a big difference.
Alex makes the rounds greeting and interacting with residents on a daily basis. Vernon Frazier says every morning everyone is asking the same thing.
“Where’s the dog?” Frazier said. “If you get up in the morning and don’t see it, ‘wheres the dog?’ Not even where somebody is. They want to know about the dog.”
Darci Henry says Alex came to the facility from the Cameron Animal Shelter.
“He goes to their rooms and hangs out with them and lays in bed with them,” Henry said.
He was enrolled in the Puppies on Parole Program at Crossroads Correctional where offenders train dogs. The program has saved 62 dogs since it started in 2010.
“He’s really calm and obedient,” Henry said. “The guys can pet him and he’s a good height because the guys in wheelchairs can reach him. He’ll stay so they can pet him and be a companion.”
Alex is about 10 years old and that would normally make him tough to adopt. The Vets home says he fits right in.
“He has medication and special food,” Henry said. “He’s kind of got a care plan like the veterans. He needs medical care like they do.”
Alex is turning out to be good for some of the vets as well. One of the patients at the facility is non-verbal. The staff says he used to stare out of the window a lot. He now connects with Alex.
“We had a veteran who only had very limited vocals and when Alex the dog started going down to visit with him he started speaking in full sentences,” Henry said. “That never happened. We didn’t know he was capable of that.”
Some of the guys say it’s really simple why they all like Alex so much. It’s just about a boy and his dog.
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