At a recent Literacy Night at Spring Grove Elementary, the cream-and-brown-spotted pooch moseyed around calmly as dozens of children flocked to pet her. She stood motionless as the children caressed her back, tail, belly and head.
Lexi, the featured dog of the night and many others, is a volunteer for Touching Moments, an organization that uses animals as therapy and comfort for children and the elderly.
Based in La Crescent, Minn., the program features a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, a rabbit, guinea pig — and even a ferret — that travel to southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin nursing homes and elementary schools to provide comfort and friendship to those in need.
“To do a job like this takes a special animal,” said volunteer Amber Cordes. “(People) can connect with the animals in a way that they can’t always connect with a human.”
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