Sometimes, a dog is the best medicine

Yvonne Abraham

 

“Hey, my babies!”

A small woman, her hair cropped close to her head, her pajamas swimming on her sunken frame, bounded into the airy atrium. She made a beeline for a pair of labs — one blond, one black — so happy to see her that their tails seemed to be wagging them.

“Where’s the reindeer ears?” Rogenia demanded. Last week, the dogs were wearing ears that made them, improbably, even more adorable.

The dogs, Maestro (yellow) and Rylie (black), have been visiting patients here at McInnis House, a recuperative facility run by Boston Health Care for the Homeless, every Thursday morning. The clients here have hit a dismal jackpot: They’re poor, homeless, and ill. Some of them are battling addiction, too. And some of them are very sick, indeed.

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