Dogs keep up the spirit at the Bel-Aire

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Resident Evelyn Jenne enjoys some lap time with Shadow, a tiny three-year-old shih tzu.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail
Resident Evelyn Jenne enjoys some lap time with Shadow, a tiny three-year-old shih tzu. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle January 6, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

NEWPORT — When tiny Shadow, a three-year-old shih tzu, can’t be found, everyone at the Bel-Aire Quality Care Center in Newport knows where to look for him.

Shadow has a favorite person among the residents and can usually be found on her bed. In fact, he’s a little bit protective of her.

Dogs are everywhere at the Bel-Aire. Or at least it seems that way. Dogs are carrying their toys through the halls, greeting visitors, and getting hugs from seniors in wheelchairs.

The four dogs that are there during the day — dogs who belong to Bel-Aire employees — are an integral part of everyday life.

“I love the dogs. We always had dogs at home,” resident Evelyn Jenne said. Ms. Jenne is legally blind, so she can’t see the dogs clearly, but she enjoys petting and holding them.

Many people are familiar with the idea of therapy dogs coming to visit at hospitals and nursing homes.

Official therapy dogs have to… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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