CANTON – Each day dozens of visitors stop by to see their loved ones at Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center. Most of those visitors are coming to visit with a resident or two, but last week Maplewood welcomed a pair of guests who were there to visit with anyone willing to give them a pat on the head.
Ben, a 150-pound Great Pyrenees and Lilly, an 80-pound Great Pyrenees/Lab mix were accompanied on their visit by their owners, Joseph and Debra Finnegan of Madrid, who have brought the dogs to Maplewood several times since this past summer.
“We started this back in July after Joe had his knee replacement,” Mrs. Finnegan said. “The residents absolutely loved them.”
Mr. Finnegan, who spent a week at Maplewood following his surgery, said the first time his wife brought Ben in for a visit, he could see that people really enjoyed having an animal around.
“There was one gentleman who wasn’t doing so well, but as soon as he saw Ben, he perked right up,” Mr. Finnegan said.
Ben and Lilly made their most recent visit to Maplewood on Wednesday, visiting residents in both the rehab and skilled nursing units.
“The joy dogs bring us is a wonderful thing,” said Karen Gonyea. “This is pretty good therapy.”
Another woman who spent some time with Ben and Lilly was Sandra Davis. “This has made my whole day,” she said.