At Revera, we know the bond between people and their pets is strong, which is why our retirement residences are animal friendly. In our Long Term Care homes, we regularly bring in therapy animals for the enjoyment of our residents as they provide an outlet for their love and affection.
Recently, a new resident moved into our Mount Royal Care Centre in Calgary, Alberta. Unfortunately, this resident was no longer able to care for her beloved dog, Sarah, and gave her to her sister to look after. Soon, her sister was also unable to care for Sarah and thought she would have to put her up for adoption at an animal shelter.
“Most people you speak to who own pets will tell you they are an integral member of the family.”
Deciding you’re unable to care for your pet is very difficult, and it was particularly troubling for our resident to think that Sarah may not be adopted. At eight years old, Sarah maybe wouldn’t appeal to someone looking to rescue a dog, despite her good looks and excellent attitude. The prospect of Sarah being put down as a result was too much to bear.
Thankfully, another option presented itself when a Health Care Aid at Mount Royal Care Centre said she would adopt Sarah. “I have a soft spot for dogs and could not see her being sent to the SPCA,” says Morena, who’s worked at Mount Royal for 24 years. “I just told my husband that I was bringing home another rescue dog.”
Sarah was adopted by Morena, a Health Care Aid at Mount Royal Care Centre in Calgary, so she could continue to see her owner who lives at the Long Term Care home.
It was a tremendous relief for our resident that Sarah would now have a loving home. And the story doesn’t end here.
Sarah is now a happy member of the Mount Royal team as part of the Pet Therapy program, which allows her original owner to see her regularly. Needless to say, she’s thrilled to have her friend back in her life. “The extra time and work that people have done to keep me connected to my closest companion, Sarah, has gone far beyond what I thought anyone could possibly do. For this I am eternally grateful and appreciative,” she said in a note to the team at Mount Royal Care Centre.
Animals are remarkable for their ability to provide comfort, support and unconditional love. “Most people you speak to who own pets will tell you they are an integral member of the family,” says Dr. Rhonda Collins, Revera’s Chief Medical Officer. “Research has shown that pets can help lower our heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress and increase serotonin, which is good for our mood and sense of well-being.”
“It is very rewarding and heartwarming to see the joy Sarah brings to her owner,” says Morena. “It is great to be part of the experience, it makes me happy to see how grateful she is every time she sees Sarah. It has allowed her to feel at home here which is fantastic.”
*Out of respect for our employee and resident’s privacy, we aren’t including full names in this blog.