Teacup Poodle Brings Love And Smiles To People In Nursing Homes.

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I hope I've got a sweet, furry friend like Nala when I get older. Although its uncommon to see a pup riding the elevator by herself, seeing dogs in nursing homes isn't. Since 1976, dogs have been trained specifically for the purpose of acting as therapeutic companions in various institutions.

Research has shown the positive effects of interaction with therapy dogs. Oxytocin (often called the "bonding hormone") and dopamine (which is associated with Parkinson's disease) levels increase with interaction, while the levels of cortisol decrease.

Nala may not have formal training in pet therapy nor elevator operations, but she is a pro at making rounds and warming hearts.