Therapy dogs comfort residents at Lake Charles nursing home

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a day full of adventure for Beatrice Smith when she gets a visit from some very special guests.

The 98-year-old may be legally blind, but she can fully sense the dogs that visit her.

"I love those dogs, all of them, they're all just so friendly and they can tell when you care for dogs," said Smith.

These dogs that are putting smiles on residents' faces are part of the Dr. Dogs Pet Therapy program in Southwest Louisiana.

There's a total of 31 dogs in the program.

The dogs visit libraries, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.

The fully-trained therapy dogs go to just about anywhere they're needed.

"Wherever we go, it's good for the people who work there and for the people who are being treated," said Susan Kelso.

For Pierre the Poodle, his owner said he loves going to work as much as the residents love having him.

"When I tell him we're going to work, he knows what it means and he is always excited," said Kelso.

But for Beatrice, this cure with fur is something she always looks forward to.

"When they come here, that's the one thing I never miss," said Smith.

Each dog part of the program is a volunteer's personal pet.

Organizers are always looking for more dogs and volunteers. For more information, contact Susan Stanford at or 337-802-5616.

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