According to “NIH News in Health”, interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood. If interacting with animals sounds like an antidote for the social effects of COVID-19, the residents and staff at the Manor at Penn Village in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania agree 100%.

Dog Training Club Visits Penn Village

The Susquehanna Trail Dog Training Club has been making regular visits to their friends at Penn Village for several years. When COVID-19 regulations came into effect, the therapeutic visits came to an abrupt end. Fortunately, the dog training club was able to find a creative way to reunite the patients and dogs. The evening of Monday, August 24th, over 20 dogs and their trainers paraded around the outside of the care center, while patients watched from indoors.

Residents were able to watch the dogs from all sides of the building, because the parade route completely circled the building. Even residents who reside on the second and third floors were able to enjoy viewing the dogs as the dogs were commanded to stand at attention.

The residents were delighted to be reunited with their furry friends, even if the visits took place through the window. The president of the dog club said the dogs had been lacking socialization too, since they couldn’t make any of their regular visits. The parade and some fantastic photos were featured in the local newspaper, The Daily Item. Thankful for the uplifting experience, Michelle Romig, the director of community life at Penn Village, hopes to coordinate another dog parade in the near future.

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