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20:47 PM

10TV: Therapy Dog Helps Patients and Loved Ones

After a long, stressful day, sometimes all you need is to sit down and spend some quality time with a furry friend. Research over the course of the past decade has proven that even the simple act of petting an animal can instantly lead to a more relaxed mood.

For patients receiving care at OhioHealth Kobacker House, they don’t have to look far to find a friendly, four-legged visitor. The inpatient hospice care center’s two-year-old comfort retriever, Finn, is a chance to take a step back from the sometimes difficult situations both patients and associates face.

"He's such a de-stressor, you can be in a very emotionally charged situation, you walk out and see Finn and poof, he just puts a smile on your face," Deborah DePaso, a clinical nurse manager, told 10TV reporter Stephanie Stanavich.

Finn was welcomed to Kobacker House two years ago, when a patient’s family donated him to the facility. After spending two weeks in training, he’s been hard at work ever since, bringing smiles to people’s faces in times when they need it most. He spends his days walking the halls and greeting people, while also making stops at every room to spend time with each patient.

For patients who are unable to interact with Finn, he’ll sit with the patient’s family to keep them company.

"You see their grief in their eyes, these families and the patients, and when Finn walks in the entire mood of the room changes," said Amanda Dobosh, a clinical nurse manager and Finn’s owner, to 10TV. "For families to let us in, in those darkest moments is an absolute privilege.”

Even the staff members at Kobacker House will take a few minutes to spend time with Finn after a busy day of administering treatment. The quality time gets staff members back on their feet and ready to focus on caring for patients and their families.

The cost of food, vet bills and more are paid for through The OhioHealth Foundation.

To view the 10TV story, click on their logo below.