This past Saturday my dog Danny and I visited the nursing home in Succasunna to spread some smiles to the staff and the residents! It was great (and quite toasty in the place, as usual) and also as usual, Danny was fantastic. I hold him in my arms and lean toward all of the elderly residents in their wheelchairs and he soaks up the love and gives occasional kisses. It brings such joy to these people and I love working with him.
Also, today I gathered brochures and a contract from the president of CCPT. I mailed it to a woman who lives in a senior apartment complex in a town who I have spoken on the phone with about introducing pet therapy to their community room at their complex; I can’t wait to hear their response! Wish me luck! (Tails crossed!)
I really really recommend pet therapy to everybody. Whether you’re a nursing home, hospital, library, school, or apartment complex, I think you should look into the immense benefits of having animals to be around. And if you have a compassionate animal, don’t hesitate to get started! I’m pretty sure you can sign up as a volunteer even if you don’t own a therapy pet. Creature Comfort Pet Therapy is amazing!
Today Danny and I visited the Care One senior living place. This was by far my favorite visit we’ve ever been on.
Everybody was exceptionally kind and grateful for our appearance: the residents, family members of the residents, and the staff! They were all such dog-people and enjoyed every minute we were there. The facility was a legit hotel-like place and each resident’s room was personal and they sometimes had a roommate! There was even an old married couple who got a personal show of Danny’s tricks.
The activities director showed us around and we visited the main lobby, the Alzheimer’s area, some residents in their rooms, a more-progressed Alzheimer’s unit, more residents rooms, and then waved a final goodbye to everyone in the lobby as we walked out the door. This visit took much longer because we had so many people to visit and spent quality time with each patient. Even most of the staff we passed by stopped with huge smiles to greet Dannyboy (: Overall — super successful!
This place I would visit any chance I could get!
This just goes to show how much places like these need all other pet therapy volunteers to get up and visit them because they’re just sitting there waiting for some smiles to be spread by dogs who heal!
The leaders of Creature Comfort Pet Therapy (CCPT) told me that I can’t ever do visitations in nearby hospitals because of Danny’s slight dog aggression 😦 It’s not his fault that his previous owners never taught him to play nicely with other doggies!
Feeling slightly discouraged because that’s the place that I was hoping to really enjoy visiting, but we’ll just keep visiting nursing homes. Danny is so great with kids that I’m dying to have him in a setting where he can spread some smiles to the little ones, so my eyes are peeled for children-oriented visitations on our CCPT calendar that take place after I get home from school/when I’m not working at my local job.
Oh, well! Tonight we’re off to a different senior care place in Bridgewater. Hopefully it’ll go well!
While I’m spreading smiles with my dog that heals tonight, you should check out CCPT’s website and (1) bring pet therapy to your facility, (2) train your dog to be a therapy dog, and/or (3) spread the word about just how much healing and soothing can happen by introducing a dog to a facility!
This morning, Danny and I (and my dad) went to Merry Heart on our own! We spent 70 minutes visiting seniors and spreading some smiles to them and the staff!
After putting on our brand new official badges and my tshirt and his bandana, we drove to Merry Heart Assisted Senior Living. Unlike the mentor visit, we went to the 3rd floor Alzheimer’s common area first and then the basement Bistro (had chairs and Wii bowling) second. I actually liked this better than doing it the other way around because the Alzheimer’s floor where the seniors have memory issues/dementia is sort of sad whereas the Bistro is just full of seniors who need assisted living and are just hanging out in a common area. So, we left the whole place on a bit more positive feel.
As for my dog Dannyboy, he did much better than he did on the mentor visit! He was more comfortable in my arms while I went from senior to senior and was well-behaved whenever I put him down. He even did some tricks for the (mostly) ladies in the Bistro, which brought them tons of joy. The staff members thanked us and told us to come back 😀
Feelin’ good, doin’ good, talk to you soon!
P.S. Get involved in the pet therapy program–whether you have a pet, work for an institution, or have a loved one you know would like some extra cheer!