Updated: Friday, 21 Dec 2012, 2:01 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012, 10:45 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Alongside authorities and counselors in Newtown Connecticut are four-legged friends who are, at times, more effective in the healing process than any human could be.
For being in the fight of his life against leukemia, Juan Hernandez admits St. Vincent Hospital is a good place to be.
"They bring me Wii, movies on TV, it's a nice place to be," said Hernandez.
But his favorite part is when special visitors come rolling in.
"A dog is like, helps you cheer up. It helps you want to be outside playing with a dog, it makes you think you can do this."
Yes, Mac and Molly and their fellow pals at TheraPets of Indiana can do that.
"They sense if you're hurting. I look at your facial expressions, I see hand movements, body language, the dogs read what's inside of us," said Executive Director of TheraPets of Indiana, Darlene Gosnell.
Trained in emotional and physical response, crisis training, even bereavement, these special dogs have responded to countless tragedies, sometimes alongside the retrievers who are now in Newtown, Connecticut offering solace to the survivors and parents of the school shooting.
"Sometimes they don't even want to talk. They just see this furry little four-legged creature and they just break down and they run over and they hug on the dog and they love on the dog and then they get up and say, 'You know, I really needed that,' or 'I really feel better now,'" said Gosnell.
And sometimes, they help victims to talk. They're a friend who won't judge; who won't ask questions, just listens and bonds.
"There have times when we've had to pull Mac off the bed because he will not leave his patient," said Gosnell.
Whether on the frontline of a national tragedy or in the arms of a sick child, these dogs are bringing healing with every smile they create.
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