Facility dog makes rehab a little more fun with cuddles

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Monday, July 22, 2019
Facility dog making rehab a little more fun with cuddles
Facility dog making rehab a little more fun with cuddles. Alicia Vitarelli has more on Action News at 10 p.m. on July 21, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA -- Magee Rehabilitation Hospital has a new employee that's winning over the hearts of patients. He's making rehab a little more fun and filled with cuddles.

Nigel is playing a big role in Katie Londres' recovery. The animal lover says Nigel makes her work harder.

"I'm more eager to go to therapy when I see that he's with me on my schedule," she said. "I'm more willing to do work with him and it just makes therapy so much more fun."

Katie arrived at Magee Rehabilitation hospital six weeks ago.

The equestrian studies major was horseback riding when she fell off and suffered a spinal injury.

Her rehab involves working with occupational therapist Peter DeLong and Nigel at least once a week.

Peter knew having a dog around would benefit his patients. After getting the OK from his bosses, he reached out to Canine Companions for Independence. The non-profit organization trains and provides assistance dogs to recipients at no charge.

Peter and Nigel have only been together three months, but already the two have a special bond.