ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – A child TV star pays a visit to the hospital in Ann Arbor with a furry friend.

As WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports, Melissa Gilbert of “Little House on the Prairie” fame stopped by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to read her new book and introduce her dog, Josephine.

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She tells WWJ that a friend’s child has cancer and she often works with sick children:

“It can be heartbreaking at times but it’s just the kids are so inspirational and they are so courageous and can teach us so much about what is really important in life,” said Gilbert.

Marilyn Herweld was at the hospital with her grandchildren and beamed with excitement haven gotten the chance to meet the beloved actress.

“Too exciting, it’s like … a dream come true,” said Marilyn.

She was thrilled that her grandchildren got a chance to meet Gilbert and listen to her read from her new book “Daisy and Josephine.”

“This is where I’m at home,” said Gilbert, who also spends time working with children in pediatric hospice. “This seems to be the issue I’m drawn to the most, children with different issues.”

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It’s an eventful year for Gilbert, marking the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Little House on the Prairie.

“I’m not sure what shocks me more, the forty anniversary or my fiftieth birthday,” she laughed. “I’m actually cool with both.”

Actor Tim Busfield.

Actor Tim Busfield.

Gilbert moved to the area recently with husband Tim Busfield, a Michigan native, and actor known for his roles in; “Thirty Something” and the movie “Field of Dreams.”

The “Little House” star tells WWJ that she loves the Howell area, saying it’s peaceful, beautiful and the people are nice.

Is there one thing she would change about living in Michigan?

“I don’t understand why there is not at least one more lane on the 23, one more lane going each way on the 23 would be really nice,” she said.

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Gilbert’s new book “Daisy and Josephine” can be found on Amazon.