A cute Labrador puppy, Harry, is stealing the hearts of residents and staff members. Harry comes to work with social worker Eileen Krueger. Eileen and her husband, Ed, train dogs for field trials and travel all over the United States with them.
Over the years, Eileen has brought her Labradors to work for residents and staff to enjoy. And although Eileen's dogs are not registered therapy dogs, it has been a form of therapy for residents.
Resident Rita Paulsen lights up when Harry enters the building. Rita moved into assisted living at Good Samaritan Society – Ridgeview Estates in 2000. Then, in 2018, after needing more care, she moved into the rehab/skilled care center at Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone.
The transition wasn't easy for Rita, so seeing a puppy roaming the halls and then having it snuggle up on her lap brings her joy.
When asked what brightens her day, Rita says, "Children and puppies."
Staff members have witnessed the benefits of having animals in the building. A pet's unconditional love, acceptance and compassion can help channel residents' attention and shift their focus to positive thoughts.
"It's not just the residents that benefit, but the staff, too," says Eileen. "The staff have fun and have played a part in helping Harry to learn his name."