By EMILY ANDREWS
SANDUSKY The addition of a dog at a local nursing home has prompted the establishment to encourage others to adopt.
In honor of their new dog, Riley, The Community at Parkvue is having a housewarming and Adopt-A-Thon from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 19 in the parking lot of Parkvue Health Care Center in Sandusky.
"It's about giving the residents a good quality of life," said Mona Flores, the admissions and marketing coordinator at Parkvue. "If you ask the residents whose dog it is, they answer 'It's our dog.' It is warmth to their lives."
The activities department was the driving effort behind the addition of Riley.
"People have the impression that if you come to a nursing home activity stops, which is so incorrect," Flores said. "It's about maintaining an active lifestyle."
The activities department at Parkvue was given a 100 percent for satisfaction by a biannual survey by "My Innerview."
"Anything we can do to make it a better experience," said Amy DiFillippo, the activities coordinator at Parkvue. "Riley has been a big advantage."
Center employees found Riley at the Erie County Humane Society.
"He's just the nicest dog," resident Anne Ziegler said.
Riley is a 7-year-old Australian shepherd.
"When we adopted him, there were so many other dogs, but we had to find one that suited us," DiFillippo said. "So we decided to have people come out and make the housewarming a public event."
Riley isn't the only animal at the center. It also has two cats, a variety of birds and a cockatiel. Next door at Parkvue Place independent living apartments for seniors is a brindle boxer named Marley.
The Erie County Humane Society, Northcoast Greyhound Connection and Norwalk K-9 Unit will bring dogs available for adoption to the Aug. 19 event. People can fill out the adoption applications there.
"People think that there is something wrong with the animals from the Humane Society but one look and you know that's not true," Flores said. "We've had no problems with him (Riley) whatsoever."
Also at the event will be Pampered Pooch Pastries, which will bring treats for the dogs to sample, a PETCO certified trainer, who will give tips and demonstrations for obedience training, and Mutts Cutts Pet Grooming and Styling Salon, which will give grooming tips and demonstrations.
Free bottled water and popcorn will be available.
"Anyone can come and bring their dogs," Flores said. "But dogs must be on a leash and have good behavior in crowds."
Another event that the center is having is Adopt-A-Grandparent, which is a mixer aimed at matching up residents at the center with youth from around the area. The event will be held Sept. 9.