One fateful Thanksgiving Day, a lost, little dog ran across a busy street and jumped straight into a woman’s arms. That day, Elise found Dory. Elise took the dog—the dog that might have been white with a good bath—home to her residence that didn’t allow animals. After a talk with the apartment manager, she wound up with a pet and her new best friend.
They bonded quickly, and found that all Dory wanted was love and cuddles. They also learned that Dory was deaf. Elise’s solution? Learn sign language. This has become a favorite trick amongst the residents of Belmont Village Burbank when Dory and Elise make their visits.
For Dory, her visits consist of getting cookies, and sitting in people’s laps, two of her favorite things. The residents fawn over Dory, and even sometimes compare their matching hair colors. Dory connected instantly with one resident in particular named Elizabeth. Elizabeth doesn’t socialize much with the other residents, but one day, Dory jumped right into her lap. In shock and pleasure, Elizabeth said, “I think I have a new roommate!” Elise and Elizabeth chatted for about 15 minutes while Dory sat contentedly in her lap.
Dory’s giving spirit extends even beyond our Paws-to-Share team, and they now celebrate Dory’s Giving Day! Every year, Elise and her friends make health kits for the homeless, and then decorate the house with a Finding Dory party theme! We’re so thankful to have Dory and Elise with Paws-to-Share, and we can’t wait to see what other laps Dory will jump into!
Belmont Village Burbank
Every other Tuesday, the residents of Belmont Village Burbank gather around, excitedly awaiting the arrival of their new favorite visitors: Lily, Dory, and Marty. Only these three aren’t the typical purveyors of Belmont Village. They’re four-legged members of our Paws-to-Share team. For the past eight months, the residents, the staff, and the handlers have witnessed first-hand what a difference having the love of a pet in your life can make.
They meet in a cozy area, where at least 20 residents gather in a circle for their turn to play and cuddle. While Lily runs around chasing balls, Dory sits in the laps of any willing participant, and Marty shakes hands. Sometimes Marty steals Lily’s toys, which causes a bit of ruckus, but fun is had by all. The nurses and staff are always on hand, willing to help the residents, and make sure everyone is happy.
“Paws-to-Share made their debut visit to Belmont Village of Burbank only a few short months ago and I couldn’t be happier they reached out to me to schedule a visit. From the very first time they visited our Residents with their adorable, playful dogs, it was clear how profound an impact they had on the seniors. The room was full of eager Residents looking forward to seeing the animals (and were even more excited because they actually had a voice in picking specifically which breeds visited!). What followed was such a joyful, laughter-filled hour of fun that made it very apparent: they need to come back ASAP! Sure enough, each subsequent visit from Paws-to-Share has been met with resounding approval from the Residents and even the staff who are present. When Paws-to-Share is scheduled to visit, I rest assured knowing the Residents have another quality, genuinely enjoyable activity to look forward to that never disappoints. We love Paws-to-Share!” –Jeff Braine, Activity Programs Coordinator