RUMFORD – Five dogs, one cat and their human companions gathered at Rumford Community Home during National Nursing Home Week to celebrate the Pet Therapy Program.

All these pets visit the home on a regular basis, bringing cheer and the comfort of animal touch to residents.

Louise Austin, who is also an RCH board member, brings her Pomeranians, Katya and Darya to the home every week. She also visits Rumford Hospital with Katya.

Jean and Dave Borman bring their greyhounds, Grace and Willow, to the home on a regular basis, too. Grace and Willow are often decked out in hats and jewelry when they visit.

Oressa Duguay, a recent high school graduate and daughter of the home’s Social Worker Nance Duguay, brings her Persian cat Mudslyde whenever she can.

Virginia Jones and her Scottish terrier, Angus, visit both the hospital and Rumford Community Home.

Becky MacDonald has two therapy dogs who usually visit one at a time but who both came for the recognition ceremony, Little Bear and Sophie.

Donna Rowe, another pet therapy volunteer, escorts her dog Buddy.

Coe Coe Gurney, activities director, told the group that the cats and dogs can bring Rumford Community Home residents, who don’t normally communicate with their human caregivers, out of their shell. “They make all the difference!” she said.

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