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Therapy dogs a success in Jefferson County

Updated: Thursday, May 29 2014, 03:58 PM EDT

By: WJAC Web Staff

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. -- For years a Jefferson County woman has been sharing with others the joy she feels with her two dogs. She has been bringing her pets to visit those who need a little bit of cheer and companionship in their daily lives.

Peggy Brown has been taking her Golden Retrievers, Sarah and Sadie, to visit nursing homes and living facilities as part of dog therapy.

"I like to go visiting and I really do like to visit and I like to listen to people, so I get a double bonus," Brown said. "I get to enjoy it and [the people] get to enjoy the dogs."

James Deahl used to have a very active lifestyle until a stroke nine years ago made mobility difficult. Deahl has been living in a nursing home for two years said he enjoys getting a visit from Sarah and Sadie.

"They're a lot of fun, take your mind off problems," Deahl said. "I was very active at one time. I loved to hunt up in the mountains and climb the mountains. Ever since my stroke, I cry a lot, can't help it."

Deahl is an Army veteran and said the extra company means a lot.

"To have a dog come in and visit you, and act the way these dogs do, you can't beat it," Deahl said.

Betty Evans recently moved to the nursing home a week ago after living in York, Pennsylvania, for the past 10 years. She had to make the move without her dog, but is happy to have Sarah and Sadie fill some of that void.

Evans and Deahl agreed that it's great to have company coming to visit, no matter if it's dogs or humans, and it makes them feel good.

In addition to visiting at nursing homes, Brown said the dogs will be part of programs at schools to teach children about dog safety.

Contact her Brown at

Therapy dogs a success in Jefferson County

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times