In his care, Nala has thrived. And she's become a popular fixture at the nursing home, often seeking out the sickest residents to offer them comfort. "She's here for a purpose, I believe," Dawson told KARE, "She's really doing God's work."
Scientists believe it's possible that the comfort of a therapy dog may actually help some patients to heal, and dogs have been known to support people struggling with illnesses from cancer to addiction. And it's not only dogs - all kinds of animals have been known to sense when their humans needed some support.
As for Nala, she even sits with residents on their deathbeds - the comfort she offers is its own kind of medicine. "She's an angel," one of the residents told KARE, "I love her and she loves me."
Watch the whole KARE story below: