PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - The job of a therapy dog is to help. One local animal has been doing that for years, working paw-in-hand with his human, Wally Kelly.
The pair has made rounds at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg for years. They've visited patients, providing comfort and smiles.
Kelly says, "I have walked into non verbal patients rooms who will eventually learn what his name is... and who will want him up in bed with him..and the smile that it brings to their face is a reward that a paycheck could never ever bring."
Kelly is now wheelchair bound. That is a result of her battle with ovarian cancer. Now, the longtime hospice volunteer finds herself in hospice care. Her friend and companion, Kelly the companion dog, is right by her side.
"He's paying back to me 100 fold."
Kelly says she's worried about the dog, saying she knows the companion animal knows something is wrong.
But Kelly says she finds comfort in knowing her longtime friend will be well taken care of.
"There's no reason he can't continue as a therapy dog and I truly hope that he will."
Even in hospice care, Kelly still visits other patients in hospice care.
"I hope that I've brought some happiness into their life, whether it's been the dog or it's just been my presence."