Rick Wells, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- There's considerable research showing animal-assisted therapy is very effective, especially with kids.
A local Audiologist has a new assistant named Katie, a Collie who just happens to have a disability of her own.
Truman Hedrick is a patient at the Scholl Center for Communication Disorders. Katie is a Collie who works here in a way; her job is to make people feel comfortable. She's good at it.
Neither of them seems to care the other is missing a leg. They are buddies.
"Katie doesn't mind that Truman has a prosthetic leg. Katie doesn't mind that our kids have hearing aids or are in wheel chairs. She just wants to be loved and the kids really respond to that," said Jacque Scholl.
Dr. Jacque Scholl is an audiologist. She believes Katie can help with her younger patients.
"We're finding kids will do a lot more for Katie than they will for us," she said.
That was the primary reason for bringing an animal into the clinic in the first place. Katie and Truman have become great friends. He's here as a result of his cancer. Two years ago doctors discovered a tumor.
His right leg was amputated, and all the required chemotherapy damaged his hearing. He was Katie's first patient. The fact they have a similar disability has given them an even closer bond.
He says he's the only kid in his school who can wave goodbye with his foot. As for Katie, she's waiting for her next schmoozing opportunity.