Each Wednesday at 4 o’clock, residents of Ridgmont Personal Care are greeted by a large ball of fluff. Her name is Fluffernutter, a golden doodle with a striking dark grey coat who strolls through the doors ready for her shift as a volunteer pet.
During her weekly visits, Fluffernutter greets residents, who offer pets, head scratches, and compliments, which she gleefully accepts. In fact, she’s done such a great job at bringing smiles to the faces of those around him, she was the clear choice for WRC’s Volunteer Pet of the Year award. On a May 22 visit, WRC CEO Barbara Sepich presented Fluffernutter and her caretakers, the McGrath’s, with a gift basket full of doggie favorites – treats, toys, and food.
The residents glow when Fluffernutter visits the facility,” said Ridgmont Administrator Jesse Baker. “Fluffernutter provides the residents with unconditional love, and by the end of her visits, our residents are already eagerly awaiting her return.” Fluffernutter, who turns six in August, has been visiting with Ridgmont’s residents for the past three years. When’s she’s not bringing smiles to Ridgmont, she can be seen as the greeter at the McGraths’ CPA business, putting clients at ease and holding down the couch in the lobby.
Each of WRC’s communities welcomes volunteer pets like Fluffernutter. Last year, six dogs – Skippity Doo-Dah, Quincy, Sadie Jo, Ozzie Bear, Great, and Gabe – that volunteered at WRC’s Laurelbrooke Landing facility won the award.
Therapy animals like Fluffernutter can have a truly positive impact on residents. Regular visits from these animals provide individuals with important social interactions while also giving them something to eagerly look forward to. Studies show that just 15 minutes spent bonding with an animal promotes hormonal changes within the brain, dropping stress levels, increasing happiness and promoting communication.
If you have a family pet that you are interested in volunteering, please contact WRC at 814-849-1205.