News 2 Feature about Pet Partners Simon & Ella video March 18 2012

boats and cats give us comfort and love at home and now one local hospital is tapping in bringing furry friends in to help patients get through tough times helping paws for Terry richer as she recovers from a stroke after seeing him and having him spend about ten minutes in my room it was just amazing it's time for a visit with Simon an Australian Shepherd who comforts patients involved in the pet therapy program here at Southern Hills Medical Center a kindness and love that he gives is unconditional and I don't know it just makes me feel good and it makes me work harder in rehab yeah a cat named Ella joins two other dogs to visit patients a few times a month occupational therapist Emily Wilkinson had experience with the program as a student and brought it with her to Southern Hills animals are just very healing you know petting an animal releases endorphins which produces happy feelings so pet therapy can reduce stress it can reduce anxiety it can reduce pain Simon is a tripod a dog who has overcome his own medical obstacles to help heal others in Nashville it's a fact not lost on patients like Terry it makes you forget what's wrong with you after seeing him and hearing his story Simon Simon by the way pets have to go through extensive training before they can participate in hospital therapy Wolfensohn has expanded the program to include outpatient therapy and chemotherapy patients her ultimate goal is to have a pet come to the hospital every day

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