This dog is ‘loving her new life’ after being adopted from an assisted living facility
Dogs have been considered man’s best friend since King Frederick of Prussia coined the term in 1789, and our canine companions never cease to show their undying loyalty and love for humans.
Our puppies are often hailed for their day-to-day support, such as Diesel the service dog, who helped his owner with depression, and Bailey the service dog, who came to the aid of his distressed owner in images viewed more than 11 million times.
A dog recently cemented her good girl status when she moved into her new forever home in an assisted living facility.
Rescue pup Ellie Mae was cared for by Last Chance Animal Rescue (LCAR), based in Waldorf, Maryland. Transferred from one of the shelter’s partners in Mississippi, it’s unclear how she got to the shelter.
Over 23 years, LCAR has rescued and rehomed approximately 10,000 animals each year.
When she arrived at the non-profit organization dedicated to saving homeless pets from unnecessary euthanasia due to overcrowding, Ellie Mae was suffering from heartworms and had several puppies she nursed. Again.
Last Chance Animal Rescue Executive Director and Founder Cindy Sharpley said Newsweek: “She arrived in July 2021, very ill, she was cared for in a foster family where she was treated for heartworms and treated. It took 8 months to prepare this girl for adoption .”
Adopted by an older couple, Ellie Mae quickly proved her sweetness and good manners. In May 2022, the shelter held a national adoption event and a female assisted living owner stopped by to meet some of the dogs.
“Shortly after meeting, this woman knew Ellie Mae was the perfect fit,” the shelter said. “She would receive tons of love from the residents and provide them with emotional support as well.”
In a study conducted by the University of York and the University of Lincoln in the UK, having a pet was linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness. Of 6,000 participants, 90% said their pet helped them emotionally cope with the COVID lockdown, while 96% said their pet helped them stay fit and active.
While it’s clear that pets can have a positive impact on all of us, animal support for those with additional needs is proven to be invaluable. In 2019, London-based animal welfare charity Mayhew worked with Middlesex University’s Department of Mental Health and Social Work to examine the benefits of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on people living in a nursing home.
Since 2012, Mayhew has pioneered its TheraPaws program, designed to promote the emotional and mental health benefits that come from interacting with a dog. The researchers gathered evidence around the TheraPaws program and observed what they called “clearly demonstrated therapeutic value”, and said the animals “play a proactive role in meeting the emotional needs” of those who receive the therapy. ‘AAT.
They also noted positive outcomes, including time spent with animals reducing loneliness, improving mood, inspiring communication, bridging gaps, and building better relationships between residents and their friends, family, and caregivers, and providing an overall sense of community and camaraderie.
“Like all of our dogs, Ellie Mae was first taken in to make sure she was a good partner before becoming a permanent member of the family,” Sharpley explained: “She has settled in well, the residents , including the resident cat, love her. She’s the ‘best dog ever’.”
According to her new family at the assisted living facility, Ellie Mae now has a strong sense of purpose and even puts her new friends to bed every night.