The residents immediately took to their new furry friend.
”She goes up to everybody, even strangers, and wants to be petted,” said Moulton, who is 88.
”I’ve never seen a dog that friendly.”
Herb Myers, 82, likes to play fetch with Roxy in the hallways.
”She loves to play with anybody, especially if there is food involved,” Myers said.
Moulton said Roxy is very precise.
”When she wants to play, she will play until she’s had enough, and that’s it, she stops.”
Southwick and Brown became Roxy’s surrogate “mom and dad” and began training the brown beauty. They enrolled her in dog-therapy classes and arranged to take her to doggy day care twice a week to socialize and interact with other dogs.
They got her a few dog beds, which they strategically placed around the facility, and a whole bunch of toys.
”She just loves to play, and when I first get here everyday it’s clear that she wants at least 10 minutes of play time,” Brown said.
The hope was that Roxy would help the residents with more than their daily doings. Southwick said therapy dogs have been known to decrease the need for medications, lower blood pressure and add years to the lives of some elderly residents of assisted-living facilities.
So far it has worked, as some residents who previously did not socialize much have noticeably changed their outlook.
”We had some residents who hardly ever came out of their rooms, but now they come out and look forward to seeing Roxy,” Southwick said.
”We knew she was going to be great, but I never expected the impact she has had.”
Brown said that when he loads Roxy up into the van for a ride to doggy day care, the residents long for her.