"Angel" the therapy dog honored at Houston's City Hall

By Kelci Johnston - News Producer
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HOUSTON - Angel, a Golden Retriever therapy dog with Faithful Paws and frequent visitor to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, was honored Tuesday during a ceremony at Houston's City Hall.

David W. Robinson, Houston City Council At Large Position 2, and Mayor Annise Parker officially proclaimed July 21st as "Angel the Therapy Dog Day" in Houston.

Born an only puppy, rare for Golden Retrievers, Angel knows all about unconditional love, which is sometimes exactly what a patient needs on the long road to recovery. Angel was born with just one eye and three legs, yet her breeder refused to euthanize her in spite of the difficult road she was sure to face.

Angel visits more than 100 hospitals and nursing homes each year including Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann Southwest.

"As soon as she walks through the door, her tail is wagging and suddenly there's a smile on everyone's face," says Gillian Alexander, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Memorial Hermann Southwest. "Her visits give everyone something to look forward to and just by petting the dogs, we see the patients immediately become more relaxed and at ease."

During a recent visit to Memorial Hermann Southwest, Angel walked into the room of Dana Jerrols. Jerrols was receiving treatment for cancer and was thrilled to see Angel and her friends. He said Angel and her friends reminded him of his dog at home.

"This really made my day, I like this," said Jerrols. "I feel better already."

"I love watching Angel when she approaches someone. There is a knowing connection as you see her take a person away from their troubles and concerns to a place of happiness and peace," says Trish Herrera of Faithful Paws.

"I hope that Angel inspires others to realize no matter how different we all are or whatever we may be going through, we can all be of service and we all have value."

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