The following blog post is written in the style of a journal by Paula Kielich, President & Founder of Pals for Life in the greater Philadelphia area. Pals For Life is one of the four organizations benefiting from Susquehanna’s Dog Days of Summer campaign.
Every day I bring pets to visit the residents of nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and mental health facilities.
Yesterday’s visit was to the Veteran’s Administration Nursing Home, where I brought our small white resident therapy rabbit, Bubbles. Volunteers came with their setter mix, Golden Doodle and Yellow Lab. A resident who doesn’t speak walked alongside the lab, and quietly talked about the dog he used to have.
At a previous visit there, I brought Muttley, a 12 year old Shepherd/Husky mix to visit the residents.
In one of the bedrooms a man was laying in bed. I asked him if he liked dogs. He didn’t say anything, but sat up in bed. We went in, and Muttley knew just what to do – he put his paws right up on his bed. The man still didn’t say anything, but wrapped his arms around the big dog’s body, and buried his head in Muttley’s neck.
A few minutes later, he looked up at me. Tears were streaming down his face. He said, “I never thought I’d see a dog again.”
Pals For Life also offers a Read to Pet Pals program to libraries and schools. In addition, we go to colleges during exam time and help students with stress reduction.
PFL pets can help and heal when no one else can. They make a difference in the lives so many.
For more information, visit www.palsforlife.org.