MONTROSE – The Montrose Health Center just got itself a super-Nova.
The 3-year-old standard poodle is now the star of the assisted living center on Montrose’s southwest side. The center test drove the girl for a week and a half before officially accepting her to replace “Maggie”, who was at the center for more than a dozen years.
Maggie died several years ago and the center’s administrator Mallory Orton said they needed to let things settle in for a while after that before introducing another pet to the center.
“Maggie was perfect here, very smart and we were known as the Lee County facility with the dog for 14 years. I’d like to get that back out there that we have a dog because a lot of people don’t want to leave their animals at home,” Orton said.
PAW Director Sandy Brown was on hand to officially donate the animal to the shelter. She said the facility began looking for a replacement a while back.
“They came in and asked, and we immediately said they needed to look at Nova,” Brown said.
Orton said the dog fit in very quickly and became acclimated to her surroundings.
“We let her do her thing for the most part. We do have a kennel over here and she goes to that to shut down for a little bit. But she walks the halls and the other morning she rounded with the nurse when they were passing out pills,” Orton said.
Brown asked who was already sneaking the dog treats and about four residents of the 10 who were on hand to see the dog, raised their hands, along with several staff members.
Wednesday PAW officially donated the dog to the center and now the facility will be responsible for feeding and caring for the animal as it wanders the hallways spending time with residents.
“She had a trial period to make sure everything worked out and today it’s official,” Brown said.
“She will officially be their dog and this is now her home.”
Nova is a white standard poodle standing about two feet tall.
Orton said the dog is walked several times a day and has a basket with toys behind the nursing station.
At PAW, the dog ran the pasture with the other dogs and was an owner-surrendered dog so she had some manners instilled already.
“Most of the dogs we get come from breeders, but this one had a home and the owners decided to surrender her to us,” Brown said. “So she had some training when we got her.”
Brown said so far this is the only assisted living center that has a PAW dog. She said they used to take animals over to the Madison to visit with residents.
“Most people either have to leave their pets or have lost their pet or remember their childhood pet, and they are great stress relievers. The favorite thing about my dog is that I can tell him secrets and he never tells anybody,” she said.
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