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Older Dog Warms The Life Of Veterans

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Lots Of Kisses And Tail Wagging

Alex the dog has been at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cameron for two months and is already making a big difference. He greets and interacts with residents on a daily basis offering lots of kisses and tail wagging.

Vernon Frazier says every morning everyone is asking the same thing “Where’s the dog?” He 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.”

Fits Right In

Alex came to the facility from the Cameron Animal Shelter where at 10 years old would make it difficult for him to be adopted. Here at the home he fits right in.

“He goes to their rooms and hangs out with them and lays in bed with them,”  therapist Darci Henry said.

The Program Has Saved 62 Dogs

He was enrolled in the Puppies on Parole Program where offenders train dogs. Since it started in 2010 the program has saved 62 dogs.

“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.”

Dog Has Amazing Effect On Patients

One of the patients at the facility is non-verbal and stared 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.”