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Barb McRae gets a personal room visit and kisses from Kirby, 6 ½, Thursday, May 12 in the Oncology Unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Barb McRae gets a personal room visit and kisses from Kirby, 6 ½, Thursday, May 12 in the Oncology Unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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Yolanda Vodila enjoys Parker’s company while she rests in her room Thursday, May 19 in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit. Vodila has five dogs of her own at home and talked about how eager she was to get back to all of them.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Yolanda Vodila enjoys Parker’s company while she rests in her room Thursday, May 19 in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit. Vodila has five dogs of her own at home and talked about how eager she was to get back to all of them.

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Debra Harvey laughs and shakes Parker's paw before the therapy dogs leave the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit Thursday, May 19 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Debra Harvey laughs and shakes Parker's paw before the therapy dogs leave the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit Thursday, May 19 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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Finnegan gives a big smile while she gets some scratches from Brian Bain.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Finnegan gives a big smile while she gets some scratches from Brian Bain.

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Heidee Regan points at Kirby and smiles while her mom, Nicole, holds her up to see the dog Thursday, May 12 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Regan was unable to touch the dogs due to her condition and cried when the dogs left her doorway.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Heidee Regan points at Kirby and smiles while her mom, Nicole, holds her up to see the dog Thursday, May 12 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Regan was unable to touch the dogs due to her condition and cried when the dogs left her doorway.

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Kirby makes his way down the empty hallway as the dogs head to their next rounds of visitation at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The dogs visit three different units in their hour and a half time frame.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Kirby makes his way down the empty hallway as the dogs head to their next rounds of visitation at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The dogs visit three different units in their hour and a half time frame.

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The owners and the dogs get ready to get off the elevator inside Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | The owners and the dogs get ready to get off the elevator inside Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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"I've been waiting all day for this," says Bill Wilson as he holds Kirby up to his face in hopes of some kisses. The dogs make personal room visits to patients who are unable to leave their rooms.
PHOTO GALLERY: Pet therapy at SMH (more photos)

Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | "I've been waiting all day for this," says Bill Wilson as he holds Kirby up to his face in hopes of some kisses. The dogs make personal room visits to patients who are unable to leave their rooms.

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Virginia Sanders gives a thumbs up to the camera while Finnegan rests on her lap.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Virginia Sanders gives a thumbs up to the camera while Finnegan rests on her lap.

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Ginger gets attention from Marjorie Mackinnon and Charles Sholtis while visiting the Comprehensive Rebhabilitation floor.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Ginger gets attention from Marjorie Mackinnon and Charles Sholtis while visiting the Comprehensive Rebhabilitation floor.

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Virginia Sanders enjoys having Kirby sit on her lap and cuddle up to her on her heart pillow while she visits the recreational room on the Comprehensive Rehabilitation floor Thursday, May 12 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Virginia Sanders enjoys having Kirby sit on her lap and cuddle up to her on her heart pillow while she visits the recreational room on the Comprehensive Rehabilitation floor Thursday, May 12 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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Charles Sholtis scratches Ginger’s neck while he talks to Ginger’s mom, Vivian Birkner, in the recreational room on the Comprehensive Rehabilitation floor at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Charles Sholtis scratches Ginger’s neck while he talks to Ginger’s mom, Vivian Birkner, in the recreational room on the Comprehensive Rehabilitation floor at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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Bruce Ellis holds Alie while he talks to other people in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit Thursday, May 12 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Bruce Ellis holds Alie while he talks to other people in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit Thursday, May 12 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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The dogs and their owners enjoy some time catching up prior to the start of their shift at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | The dogs and their owners enjoy some time catching up prior to the start of their shift at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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Barbara Bartlett with Kirby, Gert Miller with Alie, Angie Pollack, Macie McGee with Parker, Emily Corwin, Elizabeth Bornstein and Mary Ellen Ryan with Finnegan. (Not pictured: Vivian Birkner and Ginger)
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Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011 | Barbara Bartlett with Kirby, Gert Miller with Alie, Angie Pollack, Macie McGee with Parker, Emily Corwin, Elizabeth Bornstein and Mary Ellen Ryan with Finnegan. (Not pictured: Vivian Birkner and Ginger)

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