Waldo named 'City Superhero' in Reno

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - He's not your typical superhero, but the city of Reno is honoring a therapy dog for his commitment to the community.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and, as Waldo shows, they're not always perfect.

"He is 5 1/2 years old. He weighs 150 pounds and he cannot swim. He's a sinker," said Ed Ferrell, Waldo's human.

However, to the children he visits every week, Waldo is the best part of their day. The bullmastiff is in his element when he's with kids.

"He's just a good dog and he's so fuzzy and slobbery," said Kate McFarland, a patient at Renown Children's Hospital. "I'm really happy Waldo came. I'm sure happy I'm getting better."

The 10-year-old was recently diagnosed with Type I diabetes. The hospital has been her home for the past couple days, but Waldo is making her stay worthwhile.

"I'm getting a lot better. I remember I couldn't even get into the bed, I was so sick," she said.

Her parents say having Waldo visit was the happiest they've seen her since she got there.

That's just what he does: leaves you with a smile, even on your worst days.

"He loves people. We live in an area of Reno where we don't get any visitors. This a real treat for him to come and visit people," said Ferrell.

Waldo and Ferrell have been volunteering at Renown for about two years.

"I had no idea what I was getting into," said Ferrell. "It's wound up being more rewarding than I could ever imagine."

Trained as a therapy dog, Waldo looks forward to visiting sick children at Renown every Wednesday, without passing any judgment.

"The good thing about a dog is they don't care if you're male for female or black or white. As long as you're nice to him, he loves it."

The city of Reno awarded him with the inaugural City Superhero award, which is given to those who have made a difference in the community.

If you know someone who deserves to be next quarter's City Superhero, you can submit a nomination by September 26, 2016 using the link attached to this story.