A therapy dog visits the windows of a senior center to cheer up local residents amidst the coronavirus.
Tonka, the great dane, is a therapy dog certified by The Dog Alliance in Cedar Park, Texas (USA). He has been in therapy for less than a year, and he and his guide Courtney Leigh regularly visit seniors in the area, to spread the joy.
But with the restrictions that have been taken because of the coronavirus (Covid-19), visits to centers for the aged have been banned.
Because of this restriction, Tonka and her guide had to be creative in finding a way to continue to encourage the seniors in the centers.
Tonka and Courtney definitely want to do their part to help seniors feel calmer in the midst of the pandemic.
In these difficult times of non-contact and social alienation, the facilities of the center for the elderly are unfortunately unable to accept visits for their residents, including family and friends (and Tonka), due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Courtney had the good idea to visit, going around the outskirts of Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites. In this way, the residents of the place have the opportunity to interact with Tonka, through the windows and thus brighten up their day.
Courtney told KXAN:
“We have learned that with recent events, all therapy visits will be suspended for security, of course, and containment reasons. We really miss our visits and I thought to myself, “What can I do personally, by myself, to try to perpetuate some of the feelings that this wonderful dog brings to everyone?” So they were kind enough to follow the idea that I had …
Now that the dog and its owner are going outside, Tonka enjoys this interaction, even if it is through the windows.
On each visit, Tonka knocks on the windows of the asylum to greet the locals who look at him through the glass.
Can we visit? Certainly, in a safe space with a window as a barrier just by walking outside. We are very happy to be able to make them smile. ”
For the coach, these visits are too important for her, as well as for Tonka and the people in the center for the elderly.
Despite his intimidating appearance, Tonka is an extremely sweet and kind dog, and the residents of the center still want to share with him.
In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Tonka’s visits are an injection of happiness for these grandparents.
Tonka and her trainer are ready to roam the periphery of the center as long as necessary.