The residents at HCR ManorCare in Kingsford look forward to each Thursday morning. It??s the day when Sam and Hannah make their rounds with their owner Siri Sholten. Sam and Hannah are 14-year old golden retrievers.
??Sam and Hannah and I are from OSF Home Care and Hospice,?? said owner Siri Sholten. ??We come in here as part of the companion program.??
Together, they make sure smiles are always the result of their weekly visits. Chester Charles, one of the residents at ManorCare is used to dogs, and said he loves seeing his furry friends.
??People like dogs. Everybody??s had dogs in their past. They pet them, they want to be petted, and they come right to you,?? Charles said.
The dogs also do grief groups and comfort those nearing the end of their life.
??If somebody is dying and doesn??t have anybody to be with them, we get a call, and some people request that we bring the dogs in to sit with them,?? Sholten said.
Siri also said she's seen many people change their demeanor when the dogs come up to them.
??I??ve seen people have movements that people had never seen; I??ve seen smiles in people you'd think were sleeping,?? Sholten said.
When visiting the residents, the dogs have a very specific routine, and Hannah knows the way so well, she leads Siri and Sam through the hallways.
??There are a lot of people that just can't relate to another individual, but boy, when you bring them a dog, you see all sorts of miracles happen,?? Sholten said.
And the way that just two dogs can brighten an entire facility, may in fact be the most precious miracle of all.