During her 70-year “working” career as a pet therapy dog, my Springer Spaniel Isabella and I padded around countless nursing homes. Animal therapy has long been touted for its medicinal value (lower blood pressure and tricyclerine levels, among other benefits.) I am here to say it works!
I have seen dogs and dementia in action: Agitated and depressed residents visibly relax when they stroked Isabella’s velvety ears or silky fur. A smile from someone who was usually sullen. An unprompted conversation about a dog they used to have or that their children own.