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State Honoree

Katherine Dillon

Kansas

trained her dog as a “therapy dog” and brought her to a nursing home and four cancer treatment centers to cheer up the residents and patients. While volunteering with a friend at a local nursing home after school, Katherine discovered that many of the residents missed the pets they had had at home. With permission from the nursing home’s activity director, Katherine brought her dog, “Honey,” in for a visit. “You could tell the residents loved every minute she was there,” said Katherine. So Katherine took Honey for 4-H obedience training, worked on her socialization skills, helped her earn a canine good citizenship degree, and obtained certification from Therapy Dogs, Inc. She then contacted facilities that could benefit from a therapy dog and arranged visits. She also has taken Honey to children’s petting zoos and fairs. But most of Katherine’s time has been spent at the nursing home. “Many of the residents have little contact with the outside world,” she explained. “When Honey comes into their rooms, their eyes light up with joy.”