This adorable golden retriever pup goes to work every day for one very important reason: to bring joy and happiness to nursing home residents.
Three-month-old Gracie has been regularly visiting the Good Samaritan Society – Scotland since March, and her presence just delights everyone in the facility!
According to a Facebook post by the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, the dog’s role is to “bring happiness and joy to residents and staff” at the retirement and assisted living home in Scotland, South Dakota.
So far, Gracie is doing a stellar job in her new role. The pup became the center’s new pet, thanks to her owner, Pam Stewart, the social services manager of Good Samaritan Society – Scotland.
Shortly after taking Gracie home, Pam started bringing her to work. And it’s a good thing she did that because the dog has become sort of a beacon of light to the residents during this lonely time.
“We’ve seen a lot of changes since she’s come,” Pam told Good Morning America. “We’ve seen a lot of smiles, cuddles. It’s giving them a lot to talk about versus what they’ve seen in the world.”
Whenever Gracie is at the center, she spends most of her time hanging out with the facility’s residents. She cuddles up to around 30 senior citizens, who literally welcome her with open arms every time she visits.
“I talk to her and pet her,” 66-year-old Dennis Gruhlke told the outlet.
During her rotations, Gracie is always accompanied by a staff member or Pam to ensure that she and the residents stay safe.
The tenants are happy to pet her and talk to her whenever she’s there. Many of them are glad to have a dog again after the center’s previous dog, Hope, passed away in November.
After going into lockdown last March during the onset of the pandemic, the facility is slowly starting to allow indoor family visitations in accordance with federal guidelines.
And as they wait for family visits to return to normal, Gracie is there to help them stay positive and patient during this time.
Nursing homes have been particularly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With restricted visitations, many tenants have been feeling lonely and more isolated than ever. That’s why therapy animals like Gracie have become a tremendous help in lifting their spirits.
According to experts, pets like Gracie provide not only smiles but also many health benefits to seniors, including increased mental and physical activity.
Having an in-house dog allows them to enjoy the benefits of having a companion animal without all the stress and responsibilities.
Indeed, getting cuddles from a pup can make anyone’s day. These residents are so lucky for being a part of Gracie’s life; they’ll even watch her grow through the years.
Here’s a video of Gracie bringing joy to the residents.
This funeral home in Franklin, North Carolina, also enlisted the help of a dog to bring comfort to grieving families.
A Bernese mountain dog named Mochi is Macon Funeral Home’s grief therapy dog. Her job is to make therapy visits to those in need with her owner, Tori McKay.
In a Facebook post, the home revealed that the dog “loves people and loves to sleep.”
Mochi’s breed makes excellent support and therapy dogs because of their kind disposition and laid-back personalities.
Tori understands that not everyone is a dog person, so the pup is only available upon request.
So far, the families that have spent time with her said that her presence was comforting.
“But everyone that comes in has requested that she sit with them,” Tori said. “She brings peace into the room and you can see how she makes people relax so that they can open up and feel more at home.”
Indeed, dogs really make our lives so much better! Don’t forget to share this story with your friends and family.