Keeping Seniors with Their Pets
There are so many benefits for senior citizens to retain their pets that it is absolutely ideal to keep them together for as long as possible. Studies have proven that pets provide companionship, mental stimulation, plus a wider support and social network. Pets lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones circulating through the body, facilitate social interactions, and lessen loneliness. Crockett’s Critter Care has been fortunate to provide dog walking services to seniors over the years and we have witnessed the benefits first hand.
Dog Walking and Bird Watching
One of our clients, Mrs. M. had a little dog named Whitey. Even though her dog was small, the aging process took some Mrs. M’s mobility and her health had compromised her breathing so it became difficult to get Whitey out for her daily walks. Mrs. M. lived in a lovely golf course community that didn’t allow a fenced yard so she inquired about us walking Whitey twice a day – morning and afternoon. Each day we reported back to Mrs. M. how many birds’ nests Whitey spotted on her walks and how her leash manners had improved.
Our daily visits gave Mrs. M.’s family reassurance that she had social interaction each day when we entertained her with Whitey’s adventures. When Mrs. M.’s condition deteriorated and she was no longer able to live on her own, we were able to find a forever home for her beloved pet, which comforted her knowing that Whitey would continue to be cared for and loved.
A sweet orange cat “Marmalade” resided in assisted living with Mr. J. This little girl was a senior herself and had some serious health issues. When Mr. J. traveled to visit his family, he always asked us to step in and care for her. While on his trips, we would send Mr. J. pictures and reports which he loved showing to his family. As Marmalade’s health worsened, we offered to take her to the veterinarian, but Mr. J. cut his trip short to do so himself. I know that this cat filled a big space in his heart and home. It was a pleasure to visit Marmalade and get to know her during her last years.
A Lively Bit of Fluff
A little dog named Duffy is owned by Mr. Bob and is a favorite at the assisted living facility. We take Duffy for a walk every day in the morning and evening and we can’t get down the hallway without everyone stopping to pet this little fluff. Sometimes, Duffy is out front with Mr. Bob waiting for our arrival. As the seniors chat, Duffy makes the rounds to collect ear scratches and head pats from his adoring fans. When we bring Duffy back from his walk, he always jumps into Mr. Bob’s lap for a mutual snuggle.
As part of our service, we monitor Duffy’s feeding to ensure he is getting all of his meals and we send a report to Mr. Bob’s family letting them know that Duffy’s needs are being met. We love talking to Mr. Bob about the life he has led and the importance that animals have played in it. He has been a good steward for all of his pets which included many dogs, a horse, and a donkey name Gina Lollobrigida because of her long eyelashes. Mr. Bob feels very strongly that we develop a partnership with our pets and they should be treated with kindness and care for their entire life.
For us, it is an honor to support and share in the loving bond these seniors have with their furry companions.