Joy shines at the Muskogee VA thanks to a special service dog


MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KTUL) -- Joy.

An emotion sometimes difficult to find in a hospital.

But on the fifth floor of the VA in Muskogee, it’s radiating in every face and settling in every corner. That’s all thanks to Honor.

“My life has been good people, jeepers,” said Jim Baker.

If you thank Jim for his four years of service in the Navy, he’ll tell you “you are worth it.”

“I loved every minute of it, don’t believe what anybody stays. The longer I’ve been out the more I’ve loved it when I was in,” said Jim.

He’s recovering from his second knee surgery. It’s taking a little longer to heal than the first one. The pain becomes a thing of the past the moment Honor enters the room.

“This dog has put so much joy in my life today,” said Jim, while petting Honor. “You know you’re pretty.”

She’s been visiting the VA since January. It’s not just her puppy kisses that draw people in, there’s something extra special about her.

“She’s so devoted. She doesn’t know she’s handicapped. She’s the prettiest three-legged dog I ever saw,” said Jim.

Honor was born without toes on her back foot. Her prosthetic and determination are all part of a magical combination that patients, nurses and doctors at the VA can’t get enough of.

“When you’re in a situation like this there’s a whole lot of room for gloom and doom, a whole lot of why me and woe is me,” said Jim. “First of all, I think we need within ourselves to come up with a positive attitude. I’m here because I’m supposed to be here and this, this is the icing on the cake.”

Poets, musicians and artists have all tried to describe the relationship between man and dog.

At a loss for words, Jim threw his hands up.

“I don’t know how to put it in words,” said Jim. “It’s just love.”

Today, there’s only one word neededjoy.

Honor is just under 2 years old and was trained by Therapetics. It’s a non-profit that trains service dogs for veterans and people who need them. The dogs go through the training and are given at no cost to the people who need them.

Channel 8 checked in with Jim just before Honor’s story was set to air. He said his knee is healing wonderfully and he’s ready to ditch the walker.

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