Pet therapy dog is making a difference for seniors

Largo, Florida - The dog we're about to introduce you to is going to melt your heart.

Sadie is making a difference by making seniors smile. But those same seniors are also helping Sadie.

At 10 years old, Sadie isn't slowing down. A few times a week, she puts on her uniform and goes to work. But as a pet therapy dog, you would hardly call this a job.

"Their faces light up, they automatically recognize the acceptance that comes with an animal in their presence," says Christine Hamacher, Sadie's owner.

Julia Johnson is happy to have the company.

"It's exciting. It's exciting to be with a little dog. Yes it is. To have you visit here. This is wonderful."

Sadie was screened through Project PUP, or Pets Uplifting People. She's the first four legged caregiver with Harmony Home Health's "Senior Pets Helping Seniors" program.

Here at Healthsouth, Sadie sees many people, like Sheila Hurst, who is going through rehab for MS.

"Sadie, she's wonderful, so sweet and soft and furry and real loveable. It just makes my heart, oh it's, lifts me up. It's real uplifting."

But these visits aren't just beneficial to the patients... they're also saving Sadie.

Sadie is a rescue dog who had to be rehabilitated herself.

"She was malnourished, and she had heart worm and we weren't sure she was going to make it," says Hamacher.

These visits, keep her going, "I think it's good for her, I think she's found the secret to youth. Make other people feel happy and that makes you feel younger," says Hamacher.

"It's a great pleasure. It really peps you up just to have a little animal like this come to visit," says Johnson.

That means Sadie's done her job.

If you have a dog that is mild mannered and well trained...they can make a difference, just like Sadie.

Learn more about Project PUP here:


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