DCW Heroes: Therapy dogs bring joy in Manassas

MANASSAS, Va. -- Shirley Way founded Manassas Therapy Dogs with the dream of bringing joy and comfort to whoever needs it.

The nonprofit commands an 'army of therapy dogs' who meet a myriad of needs, including being an audience for children who have difficulty reading, visiting the elderly, and assisting at police departments.

At Haydon Elementary School, children are benefiting in a big way from the dogs.

"They have a more confidence voice, they're louder, they have better attendance," principal Amanda Wilder said. "They just have an increased sense of confidence overall."

And the dogs have helped even in the most dire of circumstances. Frank Jenkins' dog Max has been a therapy dog for years, and he has an incredible story of how Max has changed lives.

"We`re getting ready to leave (the hospital) and we pass this room, when the granddaughter came out and said, 'You guys have no idea what a blessing you were tonight," Jenkins said. "(The grandmother) was in a coma for two days."

A coma that apparently ended when Max snuggled up close to her grandmother.

"She said grandma is in there still talking about Max, so thank you very much."