Holiday in the Hospital

For most of us, Thanksgiving is a day to spend at home with family. Sadly, not all Lubbock families had that luxury. But thanks to some four-legged friends, there was still holiday cheer to be found at local hospitals.
By Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, TX -- Thanksgiving is usually a time spend at home with family. Sadly, not everyone can be so fortunate. But, some four-legged friends stepped up to spread holiday cheer at local hospitals.

Millie is a 6 year old Boxer. She spent her Thanksgiving on the children's ward at Covenant.

he had some medical issues when I got her, some kidney damage, so that's part of the reason we decided to make her a registered therapy dog," says Millie's owner, Valerie Slutz. "I thought it would be good to share her experience with the patients, they seem to respond really well to it."

5 year old Tommy is just one of many kids Millie visited on her hospital tour. Tommy was born with a disease that severely lowers his ability to fight off sickness. His mom Marie says they're just lucky Tommy made it to Thanksgiving at all.

"Honestly, I'm just thankful to have him," Marie says. "We went through a lot this month."
Slutz says there's no better reward than bringing Millie to visit patients during the holidays.

"I just think its a great program, most people don't realize there are therapy dogs that can visit patients and hospitals and such," she says. "We just try to make their Thanksgiving a little bit better since they're stuck in the hospital, a little bit of cheerfulness from this little pup."
And so thanks so dogs like Millie, sometimes even a hospital can feel like a home.

"I enjoy it, and she likes it, so there's no place we'd rather be," says Slutz.
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