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Published April 29, 2013, 07:04 PM

Man's best friend returns to Altru

Starting this month man's best friend will once again be a regular visitor on Altru's main campus.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Starting this month man's best friend will once again be a regular visitor on Altru's main campus.

Altru previously suspended the service because of a lack of qualified dogs but now a therapy dog named Nora will bring relaxation and calmness to patients who love animals. Two volunteers have made that possible but only one will be the star of this dog show.

Making their Monday Morning rounds at Altru Hospital are David Magnuson and his certified therapy dog.

Magnuson: "Nora is a four and a half year old and she is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever."

Like a member of the staff, Nora sports an ID badge but keeps things looking casual by sporting a bandana.

Sherry Burg, Altru Health Systems: "Walking through all of the different visiting areas and then if there are specific patients that would like a visit from Nora we arrange that."

Two of those patients included youngsters recovering at the hospital.

Magnuson : "It has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce stress."

Burg: "And the bond that happens with our patients and the visitors that promote healing instantaneously."

A few years ago Altru discontinued its pet therapy because of the absences of certified dogs, but brought it back this month when they found Nora, which is part of David's local business, the Center for Healing and Wholeness. Therapy dogs like Nora must be good natured and friendly around everyone. Nora will spend about two and a half hours every monday up at Altru.

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