Therapy dogs are invaluable when it comes to nursing homes. They offer a unique kind of feel-good moment for anyone who is with them. The current pandemic situation made it hard for service dogs to do their work because nursing homes are temporarily closing its doors for visitors.
Despite the quarantine, Courtney and her dog Tonka are determined to do their work for the elderly. The people at the nursing home need to be comforted, especially during this time. They had to think of something they can do and be creative.
Courtney came up with an idea because of her previous work in a cancer center. There was an isolation unit separated by a glass window. Sho, she had Tonka interact with the people inside the nursing home through a window. There’s no touching involved.
She got clearance from the administrator of the nursing home and immediately got to work. Since the people inside can’t hear them, Courtney made a sign saying “we miss you all.” The people inside also made the same sign saying how much they miss Tonka.
Tonka was perfect for the role of a therapy dog. He is very well-adjusted and non-reactive. Not every dog is capable of doing what Tonka does.
Courtney believes that Tonka is very aware of what he is doing. He looks at her for approval from time to time. Courtney is proud of her dog, who became a source of comfort during times of uncertainty.
For some of the patients, Tonka’s visit is all they have left. Courtney gets really emotional whenever she sees how people appreciate Tonka. Whenever she comes to the nursing home, she feels a sense of purpose and pride.
Tonka is such a good boy. He follows his owner and is very obedient. After doing an excellent job for the day, he retreats with Courtney back to their home. Sometimes they reward themselves with ice cream.
Video courtesy of The Dodo via YouTube.