Therapy dogs visited cancer patients in Louisiana during treatment

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The ArkLaTex Therapy dogs are a group of furry friends who make it their mission to comfort patients battling various illnesses or diseases before, during or after treatment. They’re certified through the national organization, Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

They stopped by Christus Cancer Treatment Center to meet with patients. Beanie, Sugar, Hope, Lulu and Gracie were the five dogs in the group accompanied by their owners.

“We look forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays when they come to see our patients and to see us. They’re kind of an extension of our care,” said Molly Fleming, a social worker for the center.

“Sometimes the dogs will jump in bed with them if they like, and it’s just a nice comfort for patients while they’re going through treatment and for their families and also for staff.”

Patti Hunsicker is Beanie’s owner who says the sweet dog has a rags to riches story. Beanie was found on a dark rode one night and jumped in the car of one of Hunsicker’s friends. She had to take a three hour bath with flea pills. Eventually Beanie found her way to Hunsicker.

“At the time I had a poodle going named Delilah and I said ‘If Delilah likes you, you can stay’ and Delilah liked her and 5 years later she’s my therapy dog,” said Hunsicker.

Beanie’s been a part of the therapy dog pack for a year. Hunsicker says she never misses out a making a new friend. She’s also entertains patients with multiple tricks.

To request the therapy dogs send an email to: pattihunsicker521@gmail.com.

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