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Therapy dog visits neighbors

April 27, 2020

Therapy dogs are essential in keeping people comforted and calm, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have not been able to visit patients in the hospital.

However, one local therapy pup is still finding a way to improve the lives of others.

“Molly, lets go say ‘hello,’” Molly’s owner, Bob Rentz said.

Molly is a 9-year-old shepherd mix and an intuitive therapy dog who brings affection, support and comfort wherever she goes.

“Hi Molly!” Michaela Fredericks said.

Molly is used to spending her time visiting hospital patients and staff.

“She will actually pick up on the condition of the patients. If it’s a particular day where there is more than one patient who is having a rough day, she’ll get exhausted and come home and curl up and say ‘I’m drained,’” Rentz said.

But as COVID-19 started to spread, hospital visitors, like Molly, became restricted. That meant Molly wasn’t suiting up in her special vest. Rentz could sense she was confused.

“It seemed like she would look up and say, ‘Don’t you know what time it is? It’s time to go, what’s happening here?’”

Rentz decided to put up a post on the Nextdoor app to ask neighbors if she could come visit – a quick hello, a belly rub – as a way for Molly to still feel needed.

“She’s soft and kind,” 10-year-old Michaela Fredericks said.

Turns out those neighbors were in need of a little puppy therapy, too.

“It just feels good to have a dog come visit,” Fredericks said.

“We have a little boy who always loves to see Molly,” neighbor Krista Glodt said.

The Centers for Disease Control says at this time there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

So, until things can get back to normal, Molly will continue to spread happiness.

“She can just look somebody in the eye and say, ‘Everything’s okay, the world is going to keep spinning. It’ll be alright.’”

Molly lives in the Eagle Shadow neighborhood of Brighton, and Rentz says neighbors can request a visit from her.

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