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Nursing homes & pets

by Bel and the m & m girls

Hi...I have just returned from visiting my former pet sitter's husband in a nursing home. My pet sitter has passed away, and I wanted to see how he was doing. Well,at first he did not remember me OR the 3 dogs, & he kept telling me where the elevator was, so I could leave.......finally he remembered!!! I only took my youngest puppy, Mimsy....as I knew she wouldn't bark......and she was an angel. And when I left, the social worker asked me if I had a picture of the dogs, to help his memory. Luckily , I had one.Well, we have lifted so many spirits so high in the sky.... including my own!!!But I also feel very humble. I just can't tell you how many smiles my little Mimsy brought to so many faces......


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

I used to work in a nursing home many years ago as a nurses assistant. I would bring my dog to visit the residents on occasion and their faces would just light up. Even the mean, nasty residents would melt in the presence of a pooch. Residents that hardly ever spoke would speak and ones that rarely smiled were grinning ear to ear. It warmed my heart to know I was doing them such a service. Pets are definitely therapeutic and I would encourage everyone who has a little extra time to take your dog and visit the residents at your local nursing home. Just think how we would feel, being the animal lovers we are, if we had to spend years at some home and never see an animal again. I personally would go nuts! I'd be mean and nasty and never smile either! Pictures are also a great idea. I gave a picture of P.J. to a sweet lady "Madeline" Every night when I tucked her in she would look over at her picture of P.J., touch it gently and tell it goodnight. It was like she had the real thing with her all the time. You did a real sweet thing, I hope you plan to continue your visits.

Hi Bel and the "girls." I have been thinking of taking Lucy to vist local nursing homes (and even some AIDS-related child care) because she is such a kissie little thing and love to crawl into laps. Your story kind of "lit" a fire. I will look into doing this NOW. Thanks. (I'll be you do feel good. Nothing better than bringing a little light and love to folks--give the baby extra hugs for good work!)
-cathy brown

Yes, going with your maltese is very rewarding! I am in the Pet a Pet program here in Michigan. They go to nursing homes and children's hospital's. These poeple feel very comfortable with the little dogs, the one's they can hold on to themselves. You should check out this program in your area, you won't be sorry!

I was passing by a nursing home with Misha one day and we saw a woman taking her older mother for a walk. Well, Misha spotted them and went right over and the old woman's face lit up, she looked so happy I thought she was going to cry. We stayed for a while and I had to pick Misha up so the woman could pet her and when we left the woman's daughter was soo grateful to us for making her mother happy! I felt so good that I almost cried!! Does anyone know of a number to call to get involved in a pet program in my area? I'm in Long Island,New York.. THANKS for talking about this subject,I highly recommened this to everyone!!

Stacey, maybe you could just try calling the nursing homes in your area and ask if they would allow you to bring Misha in.As long as you have proof of her vaccinations most of them should say yes. When you call ask to speak to someone from the Activities Dept. Maybe they could arrange a little "Pet Day" in the auditorium and bring all the animal loving residents down that day. I think it would be a great idea to bring along a few friends with their animals, that way they could all have a chance to spend time with an animal. Let me know how you make out.

What a wonderful idea! I can't imagine anything nicer then sharing these sweet puppies with folks in nursing homes. I hope if the day comes when I live in a nursing home, that someone will think of me and bring their puppy to visit. I will be doing the same with my baby soon!
-Jazz's mom

Several years ago I did volunteer work at a local nursing home. I read to several bed ridden patients once a week. After my first visit I asked the activities director if I could bring in my little one. Once I described her, she readily agreed. That experience was the best! Every week Noelle would visit with my reading ladies and then tour the rest of the floor. The patients really responded so well to her, that the director would invite her back for other celebrations, etc. I think that many breeds are perfect for this job, but in the case of the elderly or infirm, it was much easier to work with a small, accommodating, affectionate one. I have since moved from that area and had forgotten how much I enjoyed the experience. Thanks for bringing back a very satisfying memory. I may check out the possibilities in my new location.

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