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PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A therapy dog who works with sick children just had a medical scare of her own and now the bills are piling up for the owner.
Sierra, a golden retriever found her calling as a therapy dog at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
If laughter is the best medicine a lovable pooch isn't far behind.
"There are many studies done and they help healing, they lift the patient's mood," said Denise Twitchell, Sierra's owner.
Twitchell said Sierra recently played a huge part in rehabbing a girl who didn't want to get out of bed.
"We hooked up two leashes to Sierra of course I had her primary leash and this young lady had Sierra's other leash and she walked without complaining, she enjoyed it, she gave Sierra treats," Twitchell said. "She probably walked 50 yards that day and the nursing staff said they hadn't gotten her out of that room in probably a week."
"A lot of them have dogs and cats at home and they miss them and they're here for a while and they miss their animals and it's a lot of love," said Diana Corry, Twitchell's friend.
Sierra is back on the job for the first time in a couple months. She just had a medical scare of her own. The vet found a mass on her liver and thought she might not make it.
"I don't have children, I have Sierra so it never crossed my mind not to get her fixed, to have her surgery done," Twitchell said.
Sierra's surgery was successful but expensive, more than $6,000.
A website set up for donations has managed to raise about $800.
"You do everything you can to save your animal and that can get expensive, you know?"
So Corry emailed CBS 5 and asked if we could help out.
Corry recently presented Twitchell with Pay It Forward's $500.
Corry thinks Sierra might be an even better therapy dog than she was before now that she can empathize with what the kids are going through.
To learn more about Sierra or to donate, click here.
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