Found: Dog

4

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Adding the stuffed animals from Memorable Pets to our community was an immediate upgrade. The cats and dogs were a welcome sight to many of our residents who had always loved animals. Although many of them could no longer care for a living animal, these stuffed ones provided the same amount of comfort and happiness as real ones did. 

Benjamin walked slowly down the hallway with his walker. On the walker’s seat sat one of the Memorable dogs. The dog was probably the most popular Pet we had, because it looked so real.

Benjamin was always smiling. He had wonderfully kind eyes and a gentle voice. One of Benjamin’s favorite things to do was to sit and listen to the entertainers that came in to sing and play records for the residents. He always clapped in time to the music and sometimes he would sing quietly. 

Benjamin looked down at the dog on his walker’s seat as he continued to push it down the hall.  

“Benjamin, is that your dog?” I asked, walking by.

“No,” he replied. This was surprising, because, typically, residents will claim the Pets as their own. 

“But, if I keep walking him down the hallway, I hope that someone will claim him,” Benjamin nodded.

“That’s a great idea,” I said, trying hard to suppress a smile. 

“He doesn’t move much, though,” Benjamin said quietly, squinting harder at the dog as he pushed it down the hall. 

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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