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Duke the Dog brings joy to sick children

Posted at 5:24 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 18:36:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There is no love like a dog's love.
The local Ronald McDonald House Charities has a four-legged employee whose number one responsibility is to bring smiles to the faces of sick children.
"Here at the Ronald McDonald House, we really want our house to feel like a home when our families arrive," RMHC Corpus Christi CEO Michelle Horine said.
Duke the therapy dog is the first employee to greet you when you walk in.
"It immediately takes away all the stress and the fear of what maybe going through their heads when they get to hug and love on a big baby," Horine said.
The almost two year old yellow Lab is special to those who are going through tough times.
"He has a very special sense," she said. "He has a way of knowing which kids need which kind of attention."
Duke is a very important part of the staff -- next to CEO Horine -- his boss and dog mom.
The pup has a notable work ethic, except for when five o'clock rolls around.
"Duke has a shift," she said. "He works 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and not a minute after. He starts whining and he starts getting antsy when it's 5:01."
She said he is very in tune with each child's specific needs.
Elsa Garza, the guest services coordinator, shares her work space with duke.
"They love him because he is so approachable," Garza said. "As soon as they see his big paws on the counter, oh my goodness, they just go bananas."