Tonka the Great Dane is a very big, very good boy. As a certified therapy dog in Cedar Park, Texas, one of his favorite assignments is visiting the senior citizens at Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites.
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the care center is temporarily prohibiting outside visitors. Knowing how much the visits mean to Tonka’s friends at Cedar Pointe, the gentle giant’s owner came up with a solution.
Instead of going room-to-room, Courtney Leigh proposed she and Tonka go window-to-window!
We learned that with the recent events all therapy visits will be discontinued for safety purposes, of course, and containment. We really missed our visits, and I thought, what can I do personally, on my own, to try and continue some of the feelgood that this wonderful dog gives to everyone? So they were kind enough to go with the idea I had,” Leigh explained to KXAN News.
With approval from the administration, Leigh and Tonka made their first curbside appearance. Although the residents could not pet and love on Tonka like usual, just the sight of him brought smiles to their faces.
Some of Tonka’s senior pals made signs to hang in their windows, while others placed their hands against the glass, eager to be close to their furry friend once again.
Since COVID-19 is especially serious in older patients, many senior facilities across the world have closed their doors to visitors – even family members. The precaution is in their best interest, but it is easy to see how residents may become depressed.
It is a known fact that dogs can improve our mental and physical health and even help prolong our lives. No wonder a visit from a special friend like Tonka means so much!
“He has brought so much joy,” Leigh said. “We’re so excited to be able to just make them smile today.”
Tonka has been a therapy dog with The Dog Alliance for less than a year, but he has taken to service like a duck to water. In addition to visiting with residents and staff at Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites, he also greets children at elementary schools and attends educational events.
For answers to all your pet-related COVID-19 questions, check out our post:
H/T to KXAN News
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