A very special dog can often be found in the halls of Winnipeg's St. Boniface Hospital. Rusty, a nearly 15-year-old therapy dog, volunteers there three times a week with his owner George Ames.
The hospital honoured the dog for his nine years of service on Friday.
Rusty does wonders for the people he sees, but the encounters are just as rewarding for Ames and his dog.
"I was very touched by many of the conversations I had with patients like this and it gave me a perspective of life itself," Ames told CBC News.
He added that making patients happy is what kept him and Rusty coming back.
"A friendly canine face wearing glasses is a huge distraction, and it makes them smile. It makes me smile to see them smile."
Ames adopted Rusty 13 years ago. He picked the Winnipeg hospital for them to volunteer in because of a number of personal connections.
"My son was born there 35 years ago. My daughter and daughter-in-law both have had grandchildren, for me, at that hospital. I've had some surgery there," he added.
Rusty was also honoured with a Senate medal this week, but Ames told City News that the dog hasn't let it get to his head.
"Rusty still doesn't realize his fame. He's very modest. He doesn't know how good-looking he is. But he is a charmer, and he has helped many patients and their families over their years," he said. He added that Rusty's glasses don't have lenses, but he just likes to wear them.
Even if Rusty doesn't know he's a local celebrity, he does enjoy the perks. Last month, he got to hang out with the Grey Cup when the trophy was at the hospital.
Rusty is a true professional at this point. He even has his own ID badge for the hospital.
If you want more Rusty in your life, you can follow him on Facebook.
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