Therapy dogs are hardworking dogs. They have to be there for people in their greatest times of need and reassure them that they’re not alone. And now that we are facing a global pandemic, therapy dogs are more crucial than ever.
Tonka is a therapy dog who works closely with the residents of the Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites. But when the virus began to spread, the center was forced to go into lockdown in order to keep their seniors safe from the pandemic. This meant that Tonka was no longer able to walk in and out of the senior home like before.
But that didn’t mean that Tonka was about to give up his visits. Thanks to the quick thinking of his handler, a new solution was found. Tonka continued his visits to the seniors but from the socially distant outside of the building. Tonka and his handler began to make these socially distant visits routine – and the seniors were ecstatic!
Susan Peters-Finkeske shared with The Dodo, “It was heartwarming to see the look on the faces of the elderly when they were surprised to see Tonka in their window. When they would put their hands up against the window it brought a few tears.”
It definitely brings a few tears to just read about it. But some of these elderly patients even created signs for Tonka, thanking the dog for being there and letting him know how appreciated it was. And Tonka certainly has no plans to stop any time soon. As Peters-Fineske stated, she felt quite lucky to be a part of it all and to help make it possible for the residents to get to see Tonka. Hopefully, soon they will be able to visit with him in person again. But until then, he’ll be waiting outside the windows for them.