East Texas Nursing Home Gets A Pet

An East Texas nursing home has a new 4-legged resident. A nurse at the home donated a six week old Chocolate Lab to be Lindale Healthcare Center's pet.  Its residents have been busy entertaining and being entertained by their newest resident.

"I call her little girl," said Dollie Braly, resident. "I had a little boy dog one time, and I called it little boy and he never did get a name." The puppy has yet to be named. Right now, the nursing home is having a Name that Puppy contest.

"From the residents we've got Daisy," said Kenda Watson, Activity Director at Lindale Healthcare Center. "We've got Tootsie and Alice."

"I put Magnolia on there," said Ann Warund, resident. "It's a big old pretty flower that smells good."

"I like Minnie because she squeaks like a mouse," said Watson.  The puppy belongs to all the residents, but one resident, Arlene Gordon, has taken the dog under her wing.

"I've always had dogs, so it's a real experience for me, for us to get one," said Gordon. "It's something that you wake up in the morning and you know have something to care for, and that's a little easier to get up." Gordon takes the dog for walks and to other people's rooms.

"There's lots of people I've seen where they've reached out to pet her, that I have not seen earlier," said Gordon.

"It's a very good thing," said Watson.  "A lot of the residents that won't communicate much with other people will reach out towards a dog." It's a new addition that is making the residents smile, and giving them something to share together.

Residents at the Lindale Healthcare Center want you to help them name their newest resident. If you have suggestions you are urged to give them a call at 903-882-7561.  The residents will choose a name next week.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com