Full story with video from ABC10 here.
Grandpa the beagle got his name when he was rescued from the Lake County animal shelter at the advanced age of 12.
Five years later, the elderly beagle isn’t letting partial blindness or deafness slow him down. For the past few months, he’s been visiting United Cerebral Palsy of San Joaquin, Calaveras and Amador Counties, where he’s welcomed with peanut butter dog treats lovingly made by the center’s clients.
“In care homes, they don’t have the ability to have an animal there. Having a dog like Grandpa come in, who has a slow energy and is nice and quiet … Even for our people who have dementia, it’s nice and calming for them. It’s very therapeutic,” UCP activities director Sam Bailey explained.
Grandpa resides full time at the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, which primarily rescues farm animals like roosters, turkeys and goats. Sanctuary director Christine Morrissey said Grandpa’s demeanor makes him an ideal therapy dog.
“Grandpa is the teddy bear of the doggie world. He loves people – he loves treats – and it’s so amazing. Every person he meets, he puts a smile on their face,” Morrissey told ABC10 News.
Grandpa’s therapy visits have been so successful that Bailey said she is planning more volunteer trips for UCP clients to animal shelters. She said volunteering builds up clients’ self-esteem.
“They’re able to know that even though they have a disability, they can go outside their disability and still do stuff everybody else can do. They just have to do it a different way,” Bailey said.