Ruth Macartney lovingly sings to Lucas
Donna Childress snuggles Lucas
There are many scientifically proven mental, physical and emotional benefits to Pet Therapy. According to PAWs for People, physically it lowers blood pressure and pain, releases endorphins and enhances relaxation. Emotionally it reduces boredom, anxiety and loneliness. Frankly, the way a dog conveys unconditional love, being present, responsive and appreciative does wonders to lift spirits. I see it every day.
Seven year old Red Golden Retriever Lucas is the “unofficial” therapy dog of Primrose of Pueblo and may just have the best job in the house! He has been on the job in the Life Enrichment Department for 3 years and loves the Primrosers who live in this special community. There is a treat jar available but that isn’t the only thing going on in these interactions between man and dog.
Ruth McCartney comes by every day to sing to Lucas while she pets him and massages his ears. When Rod Townley plays the harmonica for him, his ears visibly raise up. Even when his owner, Life Enrichment Coordinator Barbara Della Rossa is at an activity, residents come by for their “Lucas Time.” There are several residents who bring him “special treats” and that is often kept between just them and Lucas. Coming to see Lucas is often part of a physical or occupational therapy session. He even makes one on one visits and has entertained groups of residents with his talented manner of keeping a balloon in the air with coordinated leaps. He and his owner walk with residents that just need to get some fresh air and delight in the joy of a walk. Even with folks that can’t always remember names, they seem to remember his, or will call him “my boy” or “the puppy.” Donna Childress snuggles him with a reassuring “Grandma loves you” after attending an exercise class. Emily Sutton quips in her lovely New England accent “Hi Handsome, He’s my honey and I love him” as she scratches the spot behind his head that she knows he can’t reach. This is living at Primrose of Pueblo with a gentle spirit that always has time to visit.
Thank you, Primrose, from your friend always, Lucas
by Barbara Della Rossa
Life Enrichment Coordinator
To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!