WAKE UP PET: Zep the Therapy Dog - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WAKE UP PET: Zep the Therapy Dog

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To you and I, Zep looks more like a big German Shepard with a good heart. But, he is also serving a greater purpose alongside hospital beds. "He has absorbed more tears than you know, most people. I think he really does a great service," Dill concluded. To you and I, Zep looks more like a big German Shepard with a good heart. But, he is also serving a greater purpose alongside hospital beds. "He has absorbed more tears than you know, most people. I think he really does a great service," Dill concluded.

RICHLAND, WA- Our best friends have the ability to give us great comfort, regardless of what we are going through. But, there may be specific dogs out there called for a higher duty, sensing things in strangers we did not know existed.

Zep is a 112 pound therapy dog from Sunnyside, "He's very loving, he's never met a stranger and he has a sense about people," said Donna Dill, Zep's owner.

Despite his size and environment, he is one of the most gentle doctors you will ever meet. "He's spotted earaches, he knows when somebody is very sick. He just changes his personality to fit the situation he is in," Dill described.

Every two weeks he gets a deep conditioning bath, puts on the vest, and spends two hours volunteering at Kadlec in Richland. Of course, getting a quick cookie along the way, "I always wanted to do pet therapy. I just went to Pet Partners, which was Delta at the time, and found out how to take the test, take the course. Since he was already obedience trained with titles it was easier to go and pass the therapy dog test," said Dill.

Donna Dill has spent almost 12 years involved in pet therapy. "I have been a nurse for so long, this is something that I can actually just help someone, comfort someone. I don't have to do the clinical side. I think there has been several times that we have gotten teary. He has just really helped with something so gentle as a head on the lap. He looks up at people and tells them they are going to be okay," Dill recalls.
 
To you and I, Zep looks more like a big German Shepard with a good heart. But, he is also serving a greater purpose alongside hospital beds. "He has absorbed more tears than you know, most people. I think he really does a great service," Dill concluded.

To learn more about therapy dogs or to get involved, click here.

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