The dog days Mildred Engle, a resident of the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Care Center, strokes the soft coat of Kisses, a 2-year-old Kerry blue terrier owned by Dana Flint of the Sioux Valley Kennel Club of Sioux City, IA. by David Lias Things literally were going to the dogs at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Care Center Monday night, much to the delight of its residents.
Roberta Rude, Vermillion, and Dana Flint and Jean Hassebroek, both of Sioux City, IA, were accompanied to the center Monday by four special guests. The three women are members of the Sioux Valley Kennel Club in Sioux City.
Rude brought Abby, her five- year-old Shetland sheepdog.
Flint brought Kisses, her 2-year-old Kerry blue terrier, and Hassebroek brought two Portuguese water dogs, Kea, who is 6 years old, and Sable, an 8-week-old pup.
Members of the Sioux Valley Kennel Club have been visiting nursing facilities in Sioux City for approximately 20 years now.
Occasionally, when they have the time, they journey to nearby communities.
That's what brought them to Vermillion Monday.
The three women and their dogs met the care center's residents in the facility's chapel, and demonstrated some of the basics of obedience training that all of the dogs have mastered � except for the pup.
Sable entertained the residents just simply with curious energy, and a need to explore the large room.
The pup, when not squirming too much, also was the perfect size to hold on one's lap.
Abby impressed everyone with her fine features, her beautiful long coat, and her expressions of affection.
"I've always had dogs, and my mother spent the last two years of her life in a nursing facility, and I knew she lived for the nights that I would bring my dog to visit her," Rude said.
"It would take half an hour for me to get the dog from the front door to her room."
That compelled Rude and Abby to begin a weekly ritual at the Vermillion center in January.
"I saw the good it did for the people, and I saw how good it was for the dog, and I always thought if I had a dog with a good disposition, that would be something I wanted to do," Rude said.
The dog with the good disposition just happens to be Abby.
"Last spring, I started taking Abby to obedience classes with the kennel club, and at the end of the last class the teacher mentioned they would be doing therapy dog testing," she said.
Abby, it turns out, meets all the criteria to be an excellent therapy dog.
She contacted Kathy Vankley, the center's activities director.
"I called Kathy and told her I have a therapy dog and I'd like to start bringing her," Rude said. She and Abby visit the center every Monday.
Flint said she loves to see the positive results each time her dog visits with care center residents.
"It helps a lot of people remember when they were younger, and when they owned dogs, too," Flint said.