Now more than ever, we need dogs. Dogs have such a calming presence that it’s no wonder they are always the top choice of animal for family pets as well as for therapy animals. They know how to make us feel better without really trying.
And in this COVID-19 pandemic that we’re experiencing, the comfort of dogs is more important than ever. Take 3-year-old golden retriever, Nico, for example. He’s with a dog ministry in Seward who has been responsible for providing the residents of Greene Place senior living with stress relief and comfort since he was a young boy of 16 months old.
Nico has been visiting the elderly residents of the Greene Place senior living facility on a weekly basis. The Seward branch of the national group, K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, looks after Nico when he’s not busy visiting with the elderly residents.
However, given the recent global pandemic, the senior care center has had to abide by strict social distancing rules in order to keep their vulnerable residents safe and healthy.
This has caused some changes to be made to how the K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry operates.
As Nico’s owner, Randy Newsome, revealed, “We’ve tried to bring him and at least react with him through the window. And at least get them to see him.”
Even though Nico isn’t able to see the people in person, he’s still able to provide them with a lot of joy from the curbside.
The Greene Place communications manager stated, “It boosts their mood and you can tell they always have smiles on their faces when Nico comes.”
While most service dogs you’re not allowed to touch while they’re working, things are a little different when it comes to Nico. In fact, normally, elderly seniors are encouraged to pet him when he would visit them indoors.
As Randy said, “If you read on Nico’s vest, unlike most service dogs, it says please pet me and that’s his job is to give people comfort.”
Handlers with the dog ministry have said that petting their dogs, like Nico, actually helps to destress patients, as well as see lower blood pressure.
Nico, who is set to turn four on the 2nd of April, is a very calm and loving dog. He’s been a real joy to the seniors, and it’s important that he keeps up his work through the windows, because it does provide the seniors with a stress relief when he arrives.