A furry friend in White Bear Lake brings smiles to seniors during pandemic | KSTP.com

A furry friend in White Bear Lake brings smiles to seniors during pandemic

Ashley Zilka
Updated: December 22, 2020 11:37 AM
Created: December 22, 2020 11:01 AM

One furry friend in White Bear Lake is bringing smiles to seniors who need it the most during this pandemic.

Bear is a golden retriever and found his permanent home at the Pillars of White Bear Lake earlier this month.

"I haven't seen this many smiles, this many big smiles, all year," said Kevin Johnson, the executive director at the Pillars of White Bear Lake. "We all need something to smile about. It's been a difficult year and Bear has brought so much love."

2020 has been hard for seniors, and Bear is providing the physical touch that so many crave.

"Because of the isolation in the community, because residents have been away from family, haven't had as many visitors, to have a dog come and visit every day, be a part of activities, be a part of the community, brought so many smiles," Johnson said.

Besides the cuddles that Bear provides, Johnson said he's a good workout buddy.

"If you were to come at 10 o'clock down the hallway here, we will be walking with Bear, getting some exercise, a lot of cuddles, a lot of hugs. It's great that they can touch him. It's great that they can pet him."

Johnson said this golden retriever's arrival couldn't have come at a better time.

"A lot of the residents grew up with animals. A lot of the residents have had them in their home, but especially now for the companionship, for the ability to be able to touch something and be able to play with Bear, I think it brought a lot of smiles to people."

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