When Beth Zilbert trained her rescued Golden retriever, Luke, to become a therapy dog, she had no idea that one day he would help her survive her own trauma.

“Luke was found wandering the streets after Hurricane Katrina,” says Zilbert, of Lake Charles, La. The pound that was keeping him sensed he was special and pleaded with Zilbert to adopt him. “They told me, ‘this is a fantastic dog; you have to come get him.’”

From the beginning, Zilbert says Luke had a calming presence and a gentle and sensitive manner. She recalls her then-husband commenting, “This dog lowers my blood pressure!”

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