Golden Retriever Puppy Spends Her Days Cuddling With Nursing Home Residents

Dogs have a way of making us smile and comforting us when we need it most. Residents at a nursing home in Scotland, South Dakota are finding peace and joy in their new “pet” named Gracie.

The 3-month-old golden retriever puppy is the newest team member at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. She started coming to work with Pam Stewart, the social services manager, and quickly filled the role of therapy dog to residents and staff.

Photo: Facebook/The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

Gracie has been welcomed with open arms, literally.

She was pictured in the laps of several residents in a post that read, “Meet Gracie, the newest member of the Good Samaritan Society – Scotland, South Dakota, family. Gracie is a 3-month-old golden retriever who is the center’s new pet. Gracie brings happiness and joy to residents and staff.”

Photo: Facebook/The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

Due to the coronavirus, the residents at the nursing home have not been able to visit with family as often as they would like. Gracie is doing an amazing job of making their day and giving them something to look forward to.

Photo: Facebook/The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

“We’ve seen a lot of changes since she’s come,” Stewart told Good Morning America. “We’ve seen a lot of smiles, cuddles. It’s giving them a lot to talk about versus what they’ve seen in the world.”

It is impossible not to smile when the exuberant puppy is around. She spends her days cuddling with the residents and spreading joy.

Photo: Facebook/The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

Deb Hargens, part of the Good Samaritan Society- Scotland team, said, “She is a very lucky puppy with a great big personality – the love that she gets and gives is like no other – residents actually seek her out even the ones that would not normally come out of there room – she has been wonderful for us staff and residents.”

Gracie is not the first pet at the nursing home. Another dog named Hope graced the halls and warmed the hearts of residents before she passed away in November. The residents are thrilled to have a dog again.

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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