Howard and Carla Olson, members of Community of Joy Lutheran Church, Hot Springs, Ark., received an award on behalf of their dog, Buddy, who was named 2012 Pet of the Year by the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association. Buddy, a tricolored rough collie, has since died. When a representative from Arkansas Hospice spoke at Community of Joy, telling members she wanted to start a therapy dog unit, the Olsons decided to put Buddy through the process. Despite impaired vision, he passed all certifications. The vet who nominated Buddy said, "He could go into a place and he knew why he was there — to cheer people up." A memorial dedicated to Buddy's service is on the fifth floor of Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs.
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