Golden Retriever Puppy Joins Nursing Home's Staff to Spread Cheer: 'We've Seen a Lot of Smiles'March 24, 2021
Gracie is a golden retriever for those in their golden years of adulthood.
In March, the 3-month-old golden retriever puppy started making regular visits to the Good Samaritan Society – Scotland, a retirement and assisted living facility in Scotland, South Dakota.
The pup's role at the facility is to "bring happiness and joy to residents and staff," the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society wrote in a March 14 Facebook post about "the center's new pet."
Gracie has been doing a great job so far. She nabbed the role thanks to her owner Pam Stewart, the social services manager of the Good Samaritan Society – Scotland. According to ABC News, shortly after bringing Gracie home, Stewart started taking the puppy to work with her.
"We've seen a lot of changes since she's come," Stewart told Good Morning America about the effect Gracie has had on the facility in just a few days. "We've seen a lot of smiles, cuddles. It's giving them a lot to talk about versus what they've seen in the world."
On the days Gracie accompanies Stewart to work, she spends most of her time visiting the facility's residents — cuddling up to and comforting around 30 senior citizens each day. During these rotations, the golden retriever is always accompanied around the facility by a staff member who ensures Gracie and her human friends stay safe.
The residents have literally welcomed Gracie with open arms, with many gladly taking the time to pet the puppy and talk to her when she visits. Many residents are happy to have a dog on the premises again since Good Samaritan Society – Scotland's facility dog Hope died in November.
After going into lockdown last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Good Samaritan Society – Scotland is starting to reopen to visitors in accordance with federal guidelines. Gracie is helping residents stay patient and positive while they wait for family visits to return to normal.
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