Gemeinschaft Home's New Canine Friend
Animal companions are a source of comfort in our lives; people living with pets, who often greet them when they come home each day, have claims to lower blood pressure, less stress, and a near constant source of love and affection in their lives.
During their time at Gemeinschaft Home, residents are not allowed to own pets, but, fortunately, there is still a way for them to experience the benefits of interacting with one, thanks to a new opportunity generously provided by Kathryn (Kasia) Rathgeber and Judi, a therapy dog.
With a vivacious personality and a great smile (see photos), Judi exudes warmth and a clear sense of purpose when she arrives at Gemeinschaft Home, usually on Friday afternoons, which happens the instant Kasia puts on her therapy dog jacket.
Judi is a certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs—she is not a service dog—and provides emotional support and affection to anyone who encounters her. There is never a set agenda during her visits; instead, she trots from room to room, seeking interaction with people who in return give her lots of attention and cuddles. Judi always brings a positive vibe and leaves those she visits with a smile.
Residents have responded positively to Judi and ask about her when she has not visited for a little while. Her energy is contagious!