”They miss her when she is gone and can’t wait for her to get back,” he said.
At therapy-dog class, Roxy learns all of the basic dog disciplines and some special commands. She knows not to jump on residents, and if someone drops a pill, to leave it alone.
She also knows to keep the noise down.
”She only barks maybe once in awhile if another dog comes in,” Brown said.
To do her business, Roxy will go to the back door and wait for a staff member to let her out. A large portion of Pine Harbour’s backyard is fitted with an electronic fence to keep Roxy home, but the pup shows no signs of wanting to wander off.
”She’s got it made here,” Southwick laughed.
Roxy has also learned to get along with the facility’s two cats, Pepe and Pierre — at least, sort of.
”She likes them, but we’re not sure they like her so much,” Southwick said.
Visitors to Pine Harbour have come to love Roxy, too.
Frequent visitors have taken to bringing her treats, and Roxy’s keen dog sense triggers her to make a run for the door when she recognizes the generous faces.
Southwick said that although having Roxy certified as a therapy dog is not required, the staff is still going through the process, which should be complete later this year.
It seems only fitting to have her certified since she has pretty much become a member of the staff.
‘MORE LIKE HOME’
”She is the best part of the marketing process we have,” Pine Harbour marketing director Maria Dias said.
On more than one occasion, a potential resident has come to Pine Harbour for a reluctant visit with the idea that they are not going to like it there. But Roxy changes the playing field.