WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Exotic animals greeted patients to celebrate National Rehabilitation Awareness Week at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek Wednesday.

Therapy animals from Lyon Ranch Therapy Animals of Sonoma included a camel, miniature horse, fox and parrots met the patients recovering from cancer, strokes and other illnesses. Therapists say the visits are a big bright spot in what can be a tough road to recovery.

“Someone who has a weak hand is suddenly reaching out that weak arm to just pet the animal,” Recreational Therapist Chonna Ramos said.