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December 27, 1995

Puppy Love Can Be Therapeutic, Too

JAMA. 1995;274(24):1897-1899. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530240007002

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ON A WINTRY November night, a special group of therapists makes its way to the 11th floor of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (Ill). They arrive with cold noses, but that has nothing to do with the blustery weather.

These therapists have names like Max, Kelly, Derby, and Jake. Each has four legs and a gorgeous fur coat. "The dogs are a source of inspiration," says Marquette Buie, recovering from multiple gunshot wounds that in September 1994 left him quadriplegic. Since then, Buie has regained the use of his right arm and hand and his ability to speak. He says that the dogs, which arrive with their owners weekly at the institute through a volunteer-based animal-assisted therapy program, play a role in his recovery.

"When I was hurting and thought I couldn't go on, I'd come to see these dogs." By giving them verbal commands, Buie relearned how to project

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