Dakota Sioux is a therapy dog and to many she is a hero. On Saturday the 7-year-old Golden Retriever was celebrated as she made her 1,000th visit as a certified therapy dog.
Dakota’s owner Danny Brown first got the idea to train her as a therapy dog after reading a newspaper article in 2009. The two started taking classes and soon enough Dakota was making a big difference in many people’s lives.
“I learned about the satisfaction dogs can bring to disabled people and those in nursing homes and hospitals,” said Brown. “Dakota enjoys it, and I enjoy seeing how people react to her.”
On Saturday Brown and Dakota visited the Jennings Nursing Home where they had a special celebration set up for Dakota. Jennings Nursing Home is one of the places she visits regularly, Saturday was her 193rd visit there, and her impact has been significant.
“She’s been coming here for three years, and patients are more alert and in a better frame of mind after she leaves,” said Mary Ann Fletcher, activity director at Jennings.
Many of the patients at Jennings used to have dogs and they now consider Dakota their dog.
“She’s my dog here,” said Marilyn Green. “She’s one of the family.”
Brown was also honored at the ceremony on Saturday, though he doesn’t feel he deserves any of the credit.
“I’m just the handler,” he said. “Dakota is the whole show.”