Nov 19, 2013 6:59 PM by Kathy Kuretich

New therapy dog sees patients at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center

Reno, a two year-old Australian Shepard and therapy dog, has a bedside manner that is friendly and infectious. He makes his rounds at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, giving those who need it most, a healthy dose of joy.

"The love. Unconditional love. It's wonderful," said patient Barbara Peck.

Before Reno could meet with patients, he passed 13 tests, ran through a series of health checks, and was certified through Therapy Dogs International. His owners, Jon and Cheryl Rempe said he was meant to do this kind of work.

"We just felt he had a really good disposition. Very friendly, sweet, smart, trained very easy," said Cheryl.

He goes room to room to see patients, but no one is immune from Reno's affection.

"All the patients love him. Visitors in the hallway love him, and the nursing staff loves him, too," said Debra Dambruoso, Clinical Charge Nurse at Sierra Vista.

Barbara, who is an animal lover, said he brought a sense of comfort, a sense of home.

"It made me feel wonderful that I could have a little bit of a normal life in my hospital room."

No small talk, no blood draws, no worries, when Reno's around.

"They seem enlightened, they can forget about their troubles for a visit," said Cheryl.

Reno has been seeing patients for about a month at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Officials said he's on the schedule, long term.



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