Inspirational Stories

This page will be used to share stories about the ways in which therapy animals make a difference to people in our community. If you have a story you'd like to share, please send it to for possible inclusion on the website. We love to share the ways our members are helping others!


Gus and his owner Nan visit many facilities around Cincinnati. They go to Jewish and Mercy Anderson Hospitals, Crossroads Center (a rehab facility), Turpin and McNicholas High Schools, UC, and will be visiting a library in Florida while vacationing over the next three months. This is a story about visiting Crossroads.

Early on in their visits, they met a middle aged man that was diagnosed with PTSD. Not from war, but from a traumatic incident that he had suppressed for years from his childhood. He resorted to drugs to ease this unknown pain. The diagnosis came out in rehabilitation at Crossroads Center in Clifton.

The first day that "Mike" was at Crossroads Center he encountered Gus during the 3:00 smoke break. Mike didn't want to be at Crossroads and was very bitter about his stay. When Mike saw Gus he thought "What the heck? They have dogs here too? This place is so stupid!" He watched the other patients playing with Gus and fussing over him and his thoughts about Gus grew darker. Towards the end of the hour smoke break Mike came over to pet Gus. When Mike returned to his room he suddenly realized that he was smiling, and it was all due to that d@mn dog! The following week when it was dog time, Mike immediately came over to pet Gus. Later he played fetch and asked about the trick commands for Gus. Mike continued to play with Gus each week and finally told Nan his story and what he first thought about dog therapy. He has since graduated from the Crossroads program, and his therapist is helping him obtain a service dog for his PTSD.

Freddy's Story

Freddy and his owner Fern are visiting a resident at Carriage Court once a month. The resident has memory issues, so she coordinates their visits with the resident's daughter so that she can be there. Other residents and visitors are also encouraged to stop in and see Freddy, which brings many smiles to everyone. In addition, Freddy visits at Ronald McDonald House twice a month. While the kids come to love on the dogs, the parents seem to enjoy having someone to talk to. Fern advises that through the visits she has learned that Freddy wants an aquarium! Whenever they visit a room with an aquarium, Freddy stares and stares at the fish. Fern says that while she can't prove it, she thinks their visits have helped Freddy heal from some of the abuse and neglect he suffered, and if the people they visit get half as much out of the visits as as she does, then it is time well spent.

Thanks for sharing Fern! We certainly appreciate the visits you and Freddy are making, and we are sure those you visit do too!