ALBANY — PLATTSBURGH — Over the past six months, residents of Pine Harbour Assisted Living have experienced one of the most joyful upgrades they could imagine.
”She is the most friendly dog I have ever seen,” resident Harlan Moulton said. “She loves everybody.
”She is wonderful.”
The dog Moulton was talking about is Roxy, a 2-year-old shepherd mix that Pine Harbour adopted last summer. In her short time at the facility, Roxy has become a star in the eyes of residents, staff and visitors.
”She is definitely the queen around here,” said Meghan Southwick, director of The Valley, the secure memory-care unit of Pine Harbour.
Southwick, activities director Josh Brown and executive director Raeanne McLaughlin came up with the idea of getting a therapy dog last year after an experiment with some baby ducks.
They thought a friendly dog might lift the spirits of the 60 residents at the facility and make their surroundings feel more like home.
Southwick and Brown went to the Elmore SPCA, and Roxy jumped out to them as the perfect candidate. Abandoned by the side of the road when she was a puppy, a Good Samaritan brought her to the shelter.
She was rescued by a woman who took good care of her, but she got a job on the other side of the country six months later, so Roxy had to go back to Elmore. She wasn’t there for long before the Pine Harbour family found her.
”I was a little concerned at first about how she might transition from Elmore to a big facility with lots of people,” Southwick said.
”But she was fine. Not nervous, not overly excited or aggressive, and very passive.”
Southwick spent the first night at Pine Harbour with Roxy to make sure she was fine, and there were no problems.