If you’ve ever met a therapy dog, you know they’re truly incredible animals.
Therapy dogs are around solely to comfort people. Their only job is to make people happy and more comfortable.
In fact, “Studies have shown that after just 20 minutes with a therapy dog, patients’ levels of stress hormones drop and levels of pain-reducing endorphins rise,” The New York Times explains.
Therapy dogs visit a number of high-stress locations like hospitals, nursing homes, and even college campuses during finals.
Recently, a 230-pound Old English mastiff named Sherman changed a stranger’s day when the man learned he was a therapy dog. Sherman was with his owners in their car when they found themselves stuck in traffic.
The massive pooch stuck his head out the window — and that’s when Andy, a man returning from a three-month stay at a nursing home, spotted him.
Andy had to give up his own large dog when he went into the nursing home, and Sherman was exactly whom he needed to see on his way home.
Photos: pxhere; Facebook / Love What Matters
Sherman’s owners shared the story on the Facebook page Love What Matters, where it got a lot of attention.
Within just a few hours, the post had over 13,000 reactions and almost 1,500 shares.
The post read:
We were stuck in a huge traffic jam for about 15 minutes, without moving, when my phone rang.
Since we obviously weren’t going anywhere, I answered. On the other end of the phone was a soft-spoken man who introduced himself as, Andy.
He explained he was a few cars back from us, and saw Sherman stick his big ol’ head out the window, so he called the number on our decal (we have a huge decal on three sides of the Suburban with a picture of Sherman’s head, his name, and our contact number).
He told us he had just returned home after a 3+ month stay in a nursing home facility.
He was recovering from the most recent of multiple back surgeries.
It’s because of this stay in the nursing home and his failing health that he had to rehome his large breed dog.
He is, sadly, unable to care for him any longer. This decision clearly broke his heart, as we could hear him choking up as he spoke.
He asked if we could meet up sometime, so he could just pet Sherman. Of course, we told him we would love to set a time to meet up with him.
He thanked us and we said our goodbyes, with a promise to set something up in the next few days.
As we sat there in traffic, I couldn’t get Andy’s sad voice out of my head.
We decided to call him back and ask if he would like to turn off into the Wal-Mart parking lot to say, ‘Hello’ to Sherman real quick. We could hear his voice cracking over the phone when he said, ‘Yes!’.
When we met him in the parking lot, he slowly got out of his vehicle, using a cane.
After proper introductions, we opened the side door of the Suburban and told him he was welcome to sit inside the door, to visit with Sherman.
As soon as he sat down, Sherman came right over and started nuzzling into him. The tears started almost immediately… Andy sobbed into Sherman’s neck. Sherman just sat there, letting him hug him, hold him, and kiss him. It wasn’t long before we were all pretty teary-eyed, as he told Sherman all about his dog he had to let go.
‘You’re a good boy, Sherman.’
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