Explore is a philanthropic media organization

What The Service Puppy Cam Means To Me

By Barbara Congelosi

I discovered the Puppy Cam about four weeks ago, and life in our home has improved immeasurably since then. I am 55 years old and now live with my mother, who just turned 80 and has a form of dementia. In the past 18 months, Mom has lost all independent mobility as well as much of her speaking ability. It is hard to have a conversation with her because it’s hard for her to respond in a timely and coherent fashion. I know she’s in there somewhere, but making conversation is a struggle for both of us.
When I found the Puppy Cam online a few weeks back, I was thrilled – primarily for myself, at first. I spend a lot of time online, reading news, mostly, and this visual feed was just a joy to behold. Watching these six little characters made me laugh out loud so much, my mother took notice. So finally I turned the laptop around and showed her. And she has been enthralled ever since. We made it a project to learn all of the puppies’ names and have spent, together, at least 2 to 3 hours each day tuning in. When she hears me laughing from across the room, she immediately asks what “they” did now. It has made a connection for her that carries over from one day to the next, which, for someone with dementia, is pretty extraordinary. Perhaps it is the absence of sound that makes it a more “memorable” experience for her. I have no idea if anyone else suffering from this condition has benefited as we have, but I can tell you, it has fired a connection between my mother and me – and between my mother and the outside world – that simply wasn’t there before. So please accept our thanks to you, Dog Bless You, and explore.org for putting this out in the virtual world – you will never know how much it is appreciated.

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