By Janet Aliperti
My name is Janet Aliperti and I have a 10-year-old German Pinscher named Buddy. The two of us have been a Pet Therapy Team since 2011 and have enjoyed every minute of it! Our experiences have run the gamut from visiting assisted living facilities to talking with both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scout Troops about animal care and the Pet Therapy program. We have also visited day camps over the summer and have participated to Bideawee’s "Reading to Dogs program" at various libraries.
Earlier this year, my dog Buddy and I embarked on a new adventure. We began visiting a new facility called "High Field Gardens" in Great Neck. Its a brand new facility to the both of us. It is not only is a rehab center, but it also is a nursing home for Alzheimer’s and Dementia residents. When Buddy and I first began making our rounds, everyone was so delighted to see him. They all fell in love with him and told me how beautiful and sweet he was. Our first day there, we met all different kinds of people, from Vietnam veterans, to older people who could no longer speak, and even some people who couldn't speak English. But when they all saw Buddy, their faces lit up like light bulbs and they couldn't get enough of him! Each one told me a different dog story from their childhood and I promised everyone that Buddy and I would be back to visit on soon. When we said our goodbyes, each resident was grinning from ear to ear. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that Buddy and I are responsible for those grins.