A few times every month Sharon Spevock brings her dog, Pebbles, to the Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center to lift the spirits of all the veterans.
When Spevock got Pebbles, she wasn't ready for all the attention she gets now.
"She's was rescued from a puppy mill in Ohio and I spent a couple years working with her to help her overcome her fears so she's come a long way to be a therapy dog," said Spevock.
After some obedience and therapy dog training, six-year old Pebbles now makes trips to hospitals and nursing homes around the area at least three times a week.
"We go visit the patients. Some will be in a room to room atmosphere or some will be in one big area where several patients will gather. Some patients want her on their bed and because she is small enough she can lay on the bed. She's just comforting to some of them who have health issues or loneliness," explained Spevock.
Spevock said Pebbles makes the people happy and helps them to be more relaxed.
"So many patients are going through some health challenges and emotion issues and when a dog comes into their life it can help them forget about the problems they are going through and brightens up their day," said Spevock.
Spevock said she's seen firsthand the impact Pebbles can have on people. There's one patient in the veteran's nursing home that sticks in her mind.
"He had some issues with his memory and he couldn't remember a whole lot of things but he could always remember the dog coming in to visit so it really does make a difference in their lives," Spevock explained.
For more information on therapy dogs and the impact they can have click here.