Few things warm a heart like a wagging tail. Each day residents at Heisinger Bluffs, Lutheran Senior Services’ Jefferson City, Missouri, community, are greeted by a special wagging tail – one that belongs to Toby, an emotional support dog. Toby joined the staff at Heisinger Bluffs this year and has been brightening days around the community ever since.
“He’s a very special dog,” says Rita Rivera, Toby’s owner and Heisinger Bluffs Lifestyle Enrichment Director. “He knows just what to do. If we have a resident who can’t bend down to pet him, he’ll reach up or lean against them.”
Toby isn’t the only one benefitting from the attention residents give him. Emotional support animals have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase mobility, and overall improve mood.