How a dog changed lives of seniors at Bartlett senior community

 
By Vicky Striegel
Bartlett
Posted12/13/2017 2:28 PM
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  • Daisy Mae en route to an outing with her family, the residents of the Victory Centre of Bartlett.

    Daisy Mae en route to an outing with her family, the residents of the Victory Centre of Bartlett. Courtesy of the Petco Foundation

  • Vicki Striegel, executive director at Victory Centre of Bartlett snuggles up to Daisy Mae.

    Vicki Striegel, executive director at Victory Centre of Bartlett snuggles up to Daisy Mae. Courtesy of the Petco Foundation

Victory Centre of Bartlett has always been a pet-friendly senior community and a big supporter of Anderson Animal Shelter. Our See Spot Retire companion program offers dogs a new lease on life and affords residents meaningful relationships, stress relief, and better overall health and wellness.

When it came time to adopt a dog, we began visiting Anderson with residents to find the right pet for our community. The minute we met Daisy Mae, it was love at first sight.

Typically, our See Spot Retire program is geared toward older dogs, but two-year-old Daisy stole our hearts. We were fortunate enough to be able to provide "early retirement" for Daisy.

Staff from Anderson Animal Shelter worked with our community residents and team members to help Daisy adjust to her new, very large home. She received training on elevator manners, being gracious to people who use wheelchairs and walkers, and being respectful of residents and their guests. After all, most pets don't have the run of a four-story community, let alone interactions with more than 100 people on a daily basis.

Since then, Daisy has become one of the family. Some residents who may not participate in other community life programs or who are very shy will actually leave their apartments more often to seek her out.

She provides a natural bridge between residents, helps develop friendships and encourages people to become more involved in the community. Daisy helps improve people's mood, combat isolation, and promotes physical well-being as residents are more active caring for her, playing with her and walking her.

Daisy has grown attached to so many of the folks at Victory Centre of Bartlett. She can often be found lying with a resident in their apartment, comforting them when they're not feeling well. Or outside playing as part of physical therapy to improve a resident's range of motion or balance. She can also be found greeting residents, team members, and visitors behind the front desk alongside the receptionist -- she even partakes in Happy Hour!

Daisy interacts in such a gentle manner, not only with the community members but their families and grandchildren as well. We are forever grateful to Anderson Animal Shelter for helping us connect with Daisy and impacting hundreds of lives.

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