Pets Are the Best Medicine
It’s true; those furry, slobbery, wagging creatures can be the best of companions. Pets provide a comfort system and actually produce a chemical chain reaction in the brain that helps to lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol and increase the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. In fact, pets have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress levels in humans and can actually help lower cholesterol, fight depression and help protect against heart conditions. All great reasons for seniors to have a pet! (Dana Larsen, A Place for Mom Senior Living Blog)
Our residents will all tell you their furry companions are part of their family. Some literally were part of their extended families. After a short stay, these furry friends have come to live with the residents while the children juggle their busy schedules.
With a walk in the morning, at lunch, before dinner and bedtime, Gabby, Larry Auld’s Miniature Schnauzer, has stolen the hearts of many along the path near their villa. She won’t let a passerby walk past without saying hello and petting her. She belongs to Larry’s sister-in-law but mostly lives at Springmoor. With a busy work schedule, it seemed only fair to Gabby that she have a full time companion and Larry doesn’t mind the company.
He has had a pet in his life for the last fifteen years and growing up he always remembers a dog at home. Gabby loves to ride in the car and play with her floppy toys. She still has the energy of a puppy even though she is almost ten years old. If you see Larry and Gabby on the path, please stop and say hello! She’ll bark but it’s just a hello.
Amirah (Arabic for Princess)
Amirah, Jim and Faye Bundy’s Russian Persian cat, can often be spotted sunning herself on the window ledge. She was originally their daughter’s cat but there seemed to be a conflict with the Russian Princess and the other three cats in their house. So she was loaned to Faye and Jim – seven years ago. She is quite easy to take care of. No walks, no grooming, and no pet sitters are required for their feline. A warm place to snuggle is her only requirement.
Monica and Hank Perkins have a beautiful six-year-old Havanese named Layla. Monica grew up with a love of dogs. Hank didn’t have much interest in animals until he met Layla. She has stolen his heart! Monica and Layla visit him in the Stewart Health Center daily and the little white puff of fur loves to play “hard to get” when he’s around. Monica says she is a little flirt when Hank is around.
Tara and Simon
Nadine Tope has a dachshund and a cat living with her. Tara (short for Holy Terror), her dachshund, is twelve years old and Simon, her sleek black cat, is four and a half. Tara is always ready to play with Simon, however, he is not always a fan (typical of most cats!). Similar to a brother and sister, they are friendly and respectful of each other but have very different personalities. Tara is the more outgoing of the two. Simon is usually hiding, sleeping and sunning himself on a window ledge. Tara loves the car and a long walk through the community.
Ginger and Eunice Bland are almost always together in the Stewart Health Center visiting friends or at the puzzle table with neighbors. Six years ago, this precious little three-month-old toy poodle came to live with Eunice weighing only three pounds. She is constant company to both Eunice and the friends she visits in the Stewart Health Center. She gets lots of attention while she is there. Who has more fun? That’s anyone’s guess!
A spoiled little Havanese lives with Linda Edwards. She will be the first to admit that MoJo gets lots of attention. Doggy day camp is on the schedule several mornings a week so he can play with his friends. He needs lots of socialization she says with a smile. The two have recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas.
“MoJo has never liked riding in the car and, while we were in the Bahamas, we had to go over very rocky roads to get to our favorite beaches. I discovered he did much better if I sang to him and he preferred the cadence of children’s songs but got tired of hearing the same ones over and over. When I ran out of songs, I began singing a made up song entitled “Here we go to the beachy beach,” which had the advantage of unlimited, if silly, new verses.” The two are best friends for sure!
Studies and Benefits
The Stewart Health Center has Pet Therapists that come by a few days a week with their dogs. The smiles on everyone’s faces as the Golden Retriever and Weimaraner run and bounce down the halls lets you know that they are more than welcome. The science will tell you all of the benefits but the twinkle in the patient’s eyes or the smile on a resident’s face when you stop to say hello lets you know, more than anything, that they have a wonderful furry friend. Pardon the slobbery kisses, the tail wagging means you are part of the family.
Springmoor welcomes your pets to the community. Similar to our resident information, we also like to have emergency information for your pet. If you were to need health care, your pet should be in good hands too. Neighbors and family members are the first to provide care when needed for the furry friends amongst us. If you would like to know more about Springmoor, please call 919 -234-7626 or email us to schedule a tour.