Karen B. London
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Therapy Dog Gives Great Gift
A wife’s last smile.
Nothing is more precious than the smile of a loved one


There are a zillion stories about the amazing effects of therapy dogs on people, but this one moved me even more than usual. A husband was with his dying wife in a Florida hospital when Pogo, a Shetland sheepdog came to visit. The wife began to pet the dog, wrapped her arms around him, and smiled. It had been a long time since she had smiled, and it was to be her last one. She died the next day.
Pogo’s guardian got a letter from the husband soon after thanking her for letting him see his wife smile one more time. I’m actually dripping tears on my keyboard just thinking about how meaningful that single smile was to this man. I mean, seriously, have you ever written or received a letter because of a smile?



Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Karen B. London
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