Puppy is part of the family at the Good Samaritan Society

Shiloh the border collie mix brings snuggles and comfort to nursing home residents

Shiloh puppy Wagner

86-year-old Shirley Broz is having a doggone good day at Good Samaritan Society – Wagner in South Dakota.

“We just met this morning,” the skilled nursing center resident says sitting next to a furry visitor sleeping on her bed.

Broz is getting some sweet snuggles from Shiloh.

“Oh, I think any dog is precious,” Broz says.

Just a few weeks old, the part-cattle-dog, part-border-collie puppy is already part of the family at the location.

“Shiloh is a sweetheart. I’m so excited that she’s here,” Society administrator Whitney Podzimek says. “The residents love her and we have so many animal lovers here, so many ex-farmers and ex-farmers’ wives. Dogs are just part of their lives. Being able to have that extra compassion and cuddle, it’s important.”

Shiloh ‘brightens their day’

Shiloh belongs to the director of nursing here, Kelsey Schochenmaier.

“This is her first day of coming in,” Schochenmaier says. “My goal is to bring her once a week, maybe twice. I don’t get a lot of work done so we’ll see how often she gets to come.”

The “work” is just a little different. More fluff.

“We have several residents that have left their puppies at home, or their dogs, and they really miss them. They love to have her just come and lay with them. She’s in the perfect stage because she falls asleep so easily. She’ll just go to their bed and just lay down. She also likes to bite. She’s a puppy,” Schochenmaier says.

A puppy with a “ruff” life in Wagner.

“The dogs kind of fill that void when their loved ones aren’t here,” Podzimek says.

Shiloh is happy to make as many new friends as she can.

“It lightens their mood. It helps them too I think. A lot of them are dog lovers. It brightens their day and they get to have a little fun too,” Schochenmaier says.

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