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      Rescued dogs rescue patients

      Going to a hospital can cause anxiety for some especially if the patient doesn't always have friends or family with them.

      For years, a Tifton woman along with the help of a couple furry friends has brought big smiles to the faces of hospital patients who may not have much longer to live.

      "He's making me feel good all over," was the response 90-year-old Ruby Carr gave when first meeting her new furry friend.

      Joy Sheckles has been bringing Dr. Prince Charles and his late sister, Dr. Princess Grace to patients at Tift Regional Medical Center for five years.

      "Princess Grace wore fancy dresses and glasses and hats to match all of her outfits," Sheckles said.

      Princess Grace passed away January 31 at the age of 14. Prince Charles is carrying on though, bringing smiles to patients who need them.

      "You saw Miss Ruby's reaction," Sheckles said. "It makes people happy. It brings a smile to their face and a lot of times they're in bad circumstances. We also go to Willson Hospice House so you're dealing with terminally ill patients and it distracts them from the pain they're in at that moment."

      Both Prince Charles and Princess Grace were rescued from the Albany Humane Society. Grace spent her early years in a mobile meth lab.

      Sometimes Prince Charles likes to ride through the halls in the stroller and other times, he likes to be carried.

      "Most people think he's a stuffed animal," Sheckles said. "That's their first question. Is it real? and for a lot of people, you really have to convince them that the dog is real because he doesn't move."

      Carr spent a week at Tift Regional and the day she left, she enjoyed her time with Prince Charles and wanted to take him home with her.

      Sheckles rescued these dogs nearly a decade ago. Now, she's allowing them to rescue others from their pain and anxiety in the hospital.