Tonka the therapy dog loves making nursing home residents smile and is devoted to continuing to do just that during the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and senior nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to the disease. Unfortunately, that means many nursing homes are limiting or canceling visitation hours to keep their residents safe. Not being able to see their friends and family is difficult for the elderly, who are already particularly prone to loneliness, but Tonka is doing his best to cheer them up!
The Great Dane and his guardian, Courtney Leigh, are visiting quarantined nursing home residents at the Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites in Texas. Tonka can only see his friends through the windows due to safety concerns, but everyone is making the best of a sad situation.
“We really missed our visits,” Leigh told KXAN, “and I thought, ‘What can I personally do on my own to try and continue some of the feel-good this wonderful dog gives to everyone?'”
All of the residents were excited to see the therapy dog, and some even greeted him with signs they made in anticipation of his visit. Leigh carried a sign with a special message from Tonka to the residents: “We miss you.”
This heartwarming story reminds us of how important it is to look out for those in need and brighten someone’s day whenever possible, especially during this uncertain and stressful times.