It is impossible to have a bad day when dogs are around.
Residents at MediLodge at the Shore, a retirement & assisted living facility in Grand Haven, Michigan, were delighted when they looked out the window and saw tons of dogs looking back at them.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are temporarily banned at the facility for the health and safety of everyone, except for “certain compassionate care, and special consideration situations, such as an end-of-life.”
The nursing home posted, “At this time, prevention is our #1 priority and our hope is that our families and communities understand the temporary restrictions are necessary to protect the most vulnerable citizens from having life-threatening complications from COVID-19. In an effort to continue a proactive approach in limiting the spread of COVID-19 within our communities we are implementing this restriction under the guidance of the CDC, as well as local, state and federal health officials.”
The decrease in visitors has some of the residents feeling down, so some of the families decided to visit by standing at the windows. After seeing how much joy this brought the residents, Kris Larsen, the facility’s activity director, staff came up with an idea that she hoped would lift everyone’s spirits.
This past Sunday locals arrived at the nursing home not with cards or letters, but with dogs. Larsen is familiar with the healing effects dogs can have on people as she is a therapy dog trainer. She reached out to her friends and asked them to show up on Sunday at 3pm with their dogs.
“I am the activity director at a long term care facility and my residents are missing their 2 legged and 4 legged visitors. So I got some of my dog friends to join me in my “Doggie in the Window” parade. We went window to window to visit the residents while keeping our 6 foot distance.
It was the best,” posted Larsen.
The dogs were then paraded in front of the windows of the nursing home for all the residents to see. The event called, “How Precious is that Doggie In the Window”, was a huge success with over 20 dogs showing up and a litter of golden retriever puppies.
“It was amazing – residents were reaching their hands to the windows,” Larsen told The Grand Haven Tribune. “There was lots of smiling and laughing, and now lots of fingerprints and nose smudges on the windows.”
The residents and everyone involved in the event had such a great time that the nursing home is planning on hosting another “Doggie in the Window” event on Sunday, April 19.
While nothing compares to the joy a dog or family member can bring to the residents, the facility is searching for pen pals for their seniors. “Our residents would love notes/cards of encouragement. No need to worry about envelopes for each card. These can be homemade! Feel free to send uplifting photos, including pets and scenery!”
You can send your handmade cards to:
MediLodge at the Shore
900 S Beacon Blvd. Grand Haven, MI 49417
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.