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Individual in medical face mask holds a small dog in their arms.

HONEYBUN: Faith Walker likes to take her therapy dog, Honeybun, to people who are facing challenges. The dog never fails to bring people some relief from their troubles.

Bell Tower Magazine | Health Education and Human Sciences | BT-CurrentOctober 20, 2022

Little Dog Brings Big Relief

If you don’t leave your job knowing you’ve improved someone’s day, you don’t have as good a job as Faith Walker, a Social Work student at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. 

What Faith has is not so much a job as a volunteer vocation, sharing Honeybun, her emotional support animal, with people who need a little boost to get through the day. 

“There is no visit that goes by that I don’t hear someone say, ‘I was having a really bad day, and now it’s so much better,’” she said.

As someone pursuing a career in social work, Faith finds her work with Honeybun gives her a chance to see what the right kind of support can do for people facing critical life challenges. She has taken Honeybun to visit hospice patients who she believes find great solace in the visit. While Honeybun visits the patient, Faith can talk with family members, supporting them.

Honeybun has a giant heart in a tiny body. Faith has had the long-hair chihuahua since the pup was six weeks old. Faith, who has “pretty bad anxiety,” worked with Honeybun to have her registered as an emotional support animal. That way, she could live with Faith in the dorms, which was a win for everyone.

“She loved seeing the college kids, and she provided a lot of anxiety relief for me,” Faith said. Of course, the students loved the 7-pound bundle of happiness. 

Now Faith likes taking her to the library during finals to give students a study break. 

“Although the joy is only momentary, it is one moment when you can breathe and forget about whatever you are studying for,” she said. 

Honeybun is also approved by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a nationally recognized therapy dog organization. 

One of Faith’s favorite memories involves a hospice patient.

“One elderly lady in hospice had taken a very quick road and was on her way to Heaven,” she remembered. “I asked if she would like Honeybun to lie next to her. She said yes and lit up when I placed Honeybun in the bed. Honeybun quickly snuggled in with this lovely lady. I remember visiting with her family while Honeybun snuggled. Sadly, she made it up to Jesus just a few days after I knew her.”

For Faith, it’s a circle completed.

“Honeybun has helped me through my darkest days, and being able to share that with other people is an amazing experience,” she said.