ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - For most animal lovers, dogs are more than just pets. All it takes is the wag of a tail or a look into their sweet puppy eyes, and people just feel better.
For the kids at the Ronald McDonald House in St. Petersburg, a mid-day surprise from Daisy, the emotional support dog, and her owner, Dee Reboredo, helps them get through their day.
"She's very friendly,” Dee explained.” She loves people and she loves to be pet.”
Daisy is Dee’s 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier.
"Her energy level is just amazing she is just a joy. She's a blessing," Dee said.
Dee knew Daisy was something special from the moment she adopted her. Soon after, they began their journey with Canines 4 Christ, a program providing therapy through animals. After six weeks in training, Daisy got her canine good citizen designation with the American Kennell Club and has put it to good use ever since.
"It's like she can sense when somebody is sad. She'll just sit there and let you pet her and love on her and give her kisses," Dee explained.
For 12-year-old Lillian, she got a dose of some Daisy love. A distraction worth a giggle and a smile.
"When people like Dee come in, it just brightens their world," said Allison Barrick, marketing and communications director for the Ronald McDonald House.
And that's exactly why they volunteer: To spread a little joy to kids and grown-ups who need it most.
"Powerful is a word I would use. Impactful. So, we love what we do," Dee said.
Dee loves what she does; she doesn’t even mind that Daisy is the star of the show. She’s just here to carry the message and fulfill her mission of helping others.
"It's all about her, it's not about me. It's all about God and the mission. But it's all about Daisy," said Dee.
And who better to share God’s message of love and compassion, than a kind-hearted woman named Dee and her best friend Daisy.
"You don’t get any better than a dog. Because dogs you know -- they forgive, they love unconditionally," Dee said. "I think all people should aspire to be more like a dog."