Something extraordinary has been causing a lot of excitement at Sterling Glen of Plainview, an assisted senior living residence in Long Island.
This something also happens to have four legs, long, shiny fur, and an incessantly wagging tail. Schatzie, a two and a half year old dachshund, is the one responsible for all of the extra smiles that have been lighting up this Long Island community. His greeting is always the same, a friendly bark to let his visitors know he’s arrived, and his upbeat energy is infectious. “When Schatzie is here, he’s the center of attention,” says Donna Herbst, Sterling Glen’s Activities Coordinator. “He learns very quickly and recalls which residents love to play around with him and which residents want to spend a few quiet moments petting him on their lap. He is a very lovable and adaptable animal who has become a special member of the Sterling Glen family.”
Though diminutive in size, Schatzie is an asset to the seventy-nine unit senior community. His visits are therapeutic to residents, and the benefits of petting this little pooch are both mentally and physically healing. “Petting an animal encourages general and fine motor coordination, through the use of hands, arms, and fingers, and has been scientifically linked to lowering a person’s blood pressure,” says Vera Reublinger, RN.C., Corporate Director of Wellness. “Just as important, Schatzie’s visits are fun and uplifting.”
Linda and Gregg Karl, Schatzie’s owners, are members of the Bide-A-Wee organization of Manhattan and Long Island, which sponsors this and other pet visiting programs.
They accompany their pup to Sterling Glen each month and note that the residents aren’t the only ones who look forward to these visits. “Whenever we arrive, Schatzie jumps excitedly from the car and can’t wait to get inside and see his Sterling Glen friends,” Linda says.
Schatzie not only helps senior citizens, but also shares his love with all age groups. Recently he spent time at a local elementary school, where he lent encouragement and comfort to second and third graders with reading difficulties. Seated quietly next to the children as they read aloud, each time a child had trouble with a word, he or she would stroke Schatzie to comfort nerves and gain encouragement to continue.
Inspired by little Schatzie’s big heart? Contact Bide-A-Wee, and learn more about the organizations and its numerous opportunities for animal lovers, whether it’s sharing your pet for good causes, educating others about animals, or reaping the benefits of a pet therapy program.
Bide-A-Wee • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.bideawee.org
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