May 6, 2019 (Newton Grove, NC) ─ Whether they have feathers or fur, pet therapy is a popular activity at Rolling Ridge, a DePaul Senior Living Community in Newton Grove.
April 30 was National Pet Therapy Day, an opportunity to recognize therapy animals and their companions for providing comfort and healing to people of all ages and in all settings, from hospitals and assisted living facilities to schools and pediatric care units. Rolling Ridge has hosted all kinds of creatures from a pot-bellied pig and a cockatiel to Fonzie, a hairless Chinese Crested dog.
Pictured clockwise above, Rolling Ridge resident Margaret Jackson King spends time with Pepper the cockatiel, while Betty Hairr, Terry Jones and Jesse Crumpler spend time with Fonzie.
Fonzie’s owner, Sheila Gardner has been doing pet therapy for twenty years now. She’s spent time in area senior centers, hospitals and libraries with various dogs over the years. Sheila and her three dogs Fonzie, Gracie a Maltipoo, and Lily a Maltese Yorkie, have been visiting Rolling Ridge once a month for over three years. She said pet therapy provides a lot of physical and emotional benefits.
“These dogs don’t see illness, your history or your past,” said Sheila. “They just see someone who’s going to love on them, pet them on the head, rub them on the belly and scratch their back. They’re just there to have a good time. It’s unconditional love with a dog.”