Therapy dog helps workers with American Red Cross - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Therapy dog helps workers with American Red Cross

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Dogs are called "man's best friend" for good reason. They have the ability to lower anxiety and blood pressure.

Terri Carruthers knows that and has been bringing her dog to the American Red Cross for years.

Every Wednesday she brings Lil Bit to visit with the staffers.

"Something called unconditional love that, I believe, that reaches out. And they don't care what you look like or what your problem is," said Carruthers.

Workers with the American Red Cross in Phoenix deal with stress on a consistent basis. They travel across the country and here in the Valley to locations where a disaster is taking place.  They also take phone calls from people in distress.

So Lil Bit comes in once a week to ease tensions.

"You relax a little bit, you connect. It's like, they're not asking you questions. They don't want anything. Well, they want an ear rub or a belly scratch but that's about it. That's pretty easy to deliver," said Carruthers.

Lil Bit doesn't just work the staffers, Carruthers remembers a time they visited a man at a shelter who had just escaped an apartment fire.

"I remember him just squeezing her, just squeezing her and tears coming down," said Carruthers.

Carruthers and her therapy dog also volunteer at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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