A man and his dog making a difference in the Rogue Valley

Grants Pass, Ore. — This week NBC5 News is highlighting volunteers and organizations in the Rogue Valley that help people, but don’t often get recognized for it. On Thursday night we featured a man and his dog who are bringing smiles to Southern Oregon.

Nine-year-old Bonnie has been through some tough times. Her original owner died and now she’s spending a lot of time with her new human Steve Roe.

“She was a gift to me,” said Roe.

“I just want to be able to give back and to be able to help people,” he continued.

Bonnie seems to feel the same way. For the last six years, with therapy dog Bonnie by his side, Roe has visited hospitals, senior facilities and even troubled teens at the Oregon Youth Authority.

“I just had a this feeling that she would be a great therapy dog,” said Roe.

Bonnie’s friendly demeanor brings happiness wherever her paws take her.

“She just brings a lot of joy to people’s lives,” Roe said.

One person Bonnie regularly visits is Peg Foote, who lives at a memory care facility in Grants Pass.

Foote’s daughter, Linda Colton, said Bonnie makes her mom happy.

“It’s a good thing and I think there’s a real calming effect too,” observed Colton.

Roe said he often wonders who gets more fulfillment from his service.

“It makes me feel good,” he began.

“Bringing joy to somebody’s life for a few minutes…it’s a form of therapy for me as well as for the person I’m helping,” he continued.

Who’s to say Bonnie doesn’t get fulfillment too All the petting and love from Peg and others living at the memory care facility, seemed to have a pretty relaxing effect on Bonnie as well. Both Roe and Bonnie’s effort is not going unnoticed.

“We’re very appreciative, our family for him doing this. It’s a really nice service project he does,” said Colton.

It’s a service project that keeps both Roe and Bonnie busy every week as they bring joy to people who need it in Southern Oregon.

Bonnie, who is a certified therapy dog, also helps train other therapy animals in the valley including therapy horses and even cats.

Roe also has two other dogs that help bring happiness to people’s lives.

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