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Therapy dog helps families at Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — September is Therapy Dog Awareness Month and at Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana, a fluffy canine works overtime to comfort families during difficult times.

Mac, a 6-year-old Australian Labradoodle, greets families the moment they walk through the doors.

“We’ve given him the title of ‘chief cheer officer,’” Julia Elliott, the guest services manager at Ronald McDonald House, said.

At least 51 families with children who receive treatment at Riley Hospital for Children are served at Ronald McDonald House. That means Mac is eager to get to work and can tell when someone truly needs his attention.

“I would say, a lot of times, Mac is most needed in scenarios where, obviously, our families are going through some tough times. Their child is receiving treatment over at Riley,” Elliott said. “We, actually had a family yesterday that came to see Mac from staying over at the hospital. He needed that time with Mac. He got on the floor with Mac and snuggled with him and had some play time with him. You could tell afterward he seemed a little bit more relaxed. He seemed like he really needed that time.”

Mac was given to Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana as a puppy to serve as the location’s therapy dog.