Rehab Patient Shares Loving Aide with Hospital

A New York City hospital has acquired a new caregiver thanks to a rehab patient who is sharing the "unconditional love" of her therapy aide.

Annmarie Snow-Matera, who has battled cerebral palsy since birth, noticed during her rehab visits at Staten Island University Hospital that patients cheered up whenever they encountered Domino.

"Domino gives a lot of love," she told NBC 4 New York.

Domino is a black Labrador, who has been Snow-Matera's companion and service dog for several years.

"He's really changed my life," she said. "He's helped me to live a more independent life."

Seeing how hospital patients responded to Domino, Snow-Matera decided to enlist Domino as a trained therapy dog at the Staten Island hospital. And he's been a big hit with patients.

James Falcone, 18, who recently learned he has Hodgkin's lymphoma, said he looks forward to seeing Domino when he comes to the hospital for treatment.

"It doesn't matter if I'm having a good day or bad day, seeing Domino even for a second just to say 'Hey, Domino' puts a smile on my face," he said.

Snow-Matera calls Domino's charm "the Domino effect" and believes he enjoys his new role at the hospital.

"He knows he's going to get a lot of love and he's going to give a lot of love. So he wants to come here and do this."

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