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Therapy dogs, carolers raise spirits at St. Charles Bend


St. Charles Bend welcomed several visitors Monday to help make being in the hospital on Christmas Eve a little bit better.

Volunteer Christmas carolers walked around the hospital with their therapy dogs all dressed up for the holidays.

The hospital regularly works with therapy dogs, but this is the first time it’s organized something like this.

“People don’t necessarily want to be in a hospital at Christmas,” said Anita Read, therapy dog coordinator at the hospital. “So we want to bring some cheer. We want to help them relax, help them feel better about being here. It’s a distraction from their physical ailments.”

Read said it’s a great way to bring joy to the doctors, but it’s really meant to help raise the spirits of the patients during this time of year.

“So happy to see the Christmas spirit in here,” said patient Barbara Poncho, who broke both her legs and has been in the hospital for 10 days.

It was a special time for one of the dogs, too. Shane had his nose surgically removed in early October due to a cancerous tumor. This was his first time back in the hospital after being declared cancer-free.

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