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New therapy dog welcomed at Naval Medical Center

Pappy Boyington is a 16-month-old therapy dog. He's the first therapy dog to visit patients and staff at the naval medical center at Camp Lejeune. (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12 photo)

A new pooch is making the rounds at the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.

Pappy Boyington is a 16-month-old therapy dog. He's the first therapy dog to visit patients and staff at the naval medical center at Camp Lejeune. The dog's story is one of second chances. His owner initially gave him up because of behavioral problems. Now, he's a therapy dog spreading love and joy to others.

"He's come a long way from a bleak future," said Sunnie Tortorici, Pappy's owner and a certified dog trainer. "So he's got a second chance at life, and a purpose."

Making friends is easy for Pappy. Gone are the days of behavioral problems that landed him in a shelter early in his life. Now, he's roaming the halls of Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune as part of the new canine visitation program, which is in partnership with the American Red Cross.

Pappy will start making regular visits with the goal of having other dogs in the near future.

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