Dexter the therapy dog and Nancy Cheadle are good friends; in fact, they meet up once a week.

“Tuesdays. Tuesday mornings,” says Nancy.

But, Dexter and Nancy’s visits aren't all fun. Nancy and Dexter meet up at Portneuf Medical Center, where she’s getting treatment for rectal cancer.

"It's more mental than anything,” says Nancy.

“Because you know you're not gonna feel well, so you're trying to prepare for that."

But enter Dexter and…

"I feel like my stress level comes down and just being able to stroke him and pet him," says Nancy.

Dexter's been coming to Portneuf Medical Center for seven years.

"It's just a really good feeling to know that we can help out, just even for a moment…people that are having a bad day and just make it a little bit better for them,” says Barbara Brothers, Dexter's Owner.

And doctors say research shows Dexter’s visits can have an impact on patient's health.

"Any way we can decrease that burden and decrease that stress and the trauma emotionally, and give them something to look forward to, is only going to benefit their outcome,” says Daniel Snell, Chief Medical Officer at Portneuf Medical Center.As of last Thursday, a second therapy dog joined the team. His name is cricket.

"It makes you feel good that the love you have for your dog is shared with other people,” says Tami Carson, Cricket's Owner.

And the dogs don't just visit patients. They hang out with security, lift up the life flight workers’ days and even get treats from nurses.

For Nancy, the dogs are a bright spot in what can be a pretty bad day.

"Gives me something else to focus on and Dexter is so sweet and now I get to meet Cricket for the first time and he's sweet too, so it just adds just some comfort and distraction to the day," says Nancy.


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