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Piper, a 3-year-old boxer, is a certified therapy dog. Once a month, Piper accompanies her owner, Laura McKinney of St. Paul Park, to the VA Hospital in Minneapolis where the dog spends time with soldiers injured in the ongoing Iraq War. (Bulletin photo by Jon Avise)

Dog good therapy for injured vets

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In her work as a nurse at the Minneapolis VA Hospital, Laura McKinney deals with a lot of "yes, sir; no, sir" kind of guys.

But the 24-year-old St. Paul Park resident knows one sure-fire trick to bring a usually reserved Iraq War veteran out of his or her shell: Piper, her 3-year-old boxer and certified therapy dog.

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