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Stray Dog Finds Purpose at Nursing Home

Six years ago, a nursing home opened its doors to a stray Chocolate lab named Rusty who was about to be put down at a nearby shelter. But little could anyone have guessed that by saving the dog’s life, he then would go on to bring so much joy to theirs.

Sue VanDeRostyne, who runs the Toulon Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Illinois, first met Rusty after her sister found him wandering unattended in her backyard in 2008. …Eventually, they decided to drop Rusty off at the local animal shelter in hopes that someone might come claim him there. But after a week without any luck, Sue got word that Rusty’s time was up.

Back at the nursing home, which specializes in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the lost dog was given a place to live alongside its nearly 100 live-in residents … — it gave him a purpose as well.

Rusty soon established himself as the nursing home’s resident pet, bringing happiness and comfort to seniors who needed it the most… Despite having no training, Rusty has shown a remarkable aptitude as a therapy animal, just by being himself. (The Dodo)

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