his piece by Sandy Meindersma at Wicked Local reminds us of the importance of the bond between humans and dogs. I am a big supporter of animals in partnership with humans to provide therapeutic benefits to both species. We have too many animals in shelters, many of which can serve aging seniors with enthusiasm and joy. I hope more nursing homes and assisted living residences add pets to their environments. The trend seems to be positive.
WESTBORO — One of the highlights of Doris Ouellette’s day is when Rosemary comes by for a visit.
“She’s so soft and cuddly — such a great lap dog,” Ouellette said. “It’s great to have her here.”
Rosemary, a 9-year-old coton de tulear therapy dog and her owner, Kathy Sawyer, usually come to the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center on Thursdays, but made a special visit this week on Tuesday, where they met up with Maui, a 3-year-old golden retriever who also provides pet therapy visits.
“Everybody just loves to hold Rose,” Sawyer said. “She just goes limp in your lap.”
Both dogs work exclusively at Beaumont, where they have gotten to know the residents quite well, even visiting some residents in their own rooms.
“Maui is more excited than I’ve ever seen her,” Ouellette said. “She usually just walks right in.”
Resident Fran Guerra loves holding Rosemary.
“She minds better than my kids,” she said. “I love them both.”
Nursing Director Nicole Croteau said that the dogs provide additional benefits to the residents beyond the momentary diversion.
“Pet therapy has been shown to boost serotonin, which is a positive mood hormone, so the dogs are actually providing a health benefit to the residents,” she said. “It’s been so well-received here.”
Croteau said that the dogs also help to connect residents’ families to one another.
thumbnail courtesy of telegram.com
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