Therapy Dog ‘Says Hello’ Through The Window Of A Senior Citizen Center Amid Coronavirus

When it comes to therapy dogs, we recognize that they come in all shapes and sizes. There is always going to be somebody at the top of their class, and when it comes to large therapy dogs, Tonka is in the lead.

Tonka is a Great Dane and certified therapy dog that works with The Dog Alliance in Cedar Park, Texas. Along with his large frame, he has an equally large personality. In fact, many people would describe Tonka as being a big teddy bear.

KXAN spoke about this extra-large therapy dog and how it is doing what is necessary to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the time that COVID-19 became such a problem, Tonka would travel through Cedar Park and visit the senior centers. Unfortunately, it is impossible to do so in the same way because the senior centers in Cedar Park are closing their doors, as are many senior centers across the nation due to the coronavirus.

With those facilities prohibiting any visitors from outside, Tonka and his owner had to get creative. They didn’t want to add to the potential spread of COVID-19, but they still had a desire to cheer up the senior citizens within those walls.

In order to give a pick me up to the residents of Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites, Tonka and his owner, Courtney Leigh, opted for a curbside option. They have been walking around the outside of the senior center, with Tonka going up to the windows to say hello to the residents on the inside. Since they are separated by glass, it is perfectly acceptable.

“We learned that with the recent events all therapy visits will be discontinued for safety purposes, of course, and containment. We really missed our visits, and I thought, what can I do personally, on my own, to try and continue some of the feelgood that this wonderful dog gives to everyone? So they were kind enough to go with the idea I had,” Leigh told KXAN.

Leigh also talked about how the interactions at the windows are important to everyone, including the senior citizens, Tonka, and even herself.

“We’re so excited to be able to just make them smile today,” she added.

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