Witherell Hosts Patriotic Pooches on Parade

Witherell Hosts Patriotic Pooches on Parade

Pooches on Parade took a patriotic twist when it was held over Memorial Day weekend on May 28. The ever-popular quarterly event attracted 14 four-legged friends and their human companions, who mingled with dozens of Witherell residents, family, staff, and volunteers in our spacious auditorium and adjoining solarium. Keeping with the theme, the rooms were decorated by the recreation staff with patriotic flags and cascading star mobiles.

In recognition of Memorial Day, Witherell residents were given red, white, and blue leis, and all participants received a tin pail filled with goodies, including patriotic people treats, dog treats, and a mini American flag. Especially touching, Master of Ceremonies Mary Bruce, our Therapeutic Recreation Director, called out the names of every veteran in attendance (there must have been a good dozen). The event wrapped up with a flag-waving sing-a-long of “God Bless America.”

Pooches on Parade is the formal part of the Witherell’s pet therapy program. Witherell also welcomes individual dog and owner teams to come in on a more informal basis and go around the building on their own, coming when it is convenient for them and working it into their own schedules. For more information on bringing your dog to an upcoming Pooches on Parade and/or becoming a Witherell pet therapy volunteer, please call Sally Van Leeuwen at 203.618.4228 or email her at sallyvanl@live.com.

Following are some photos from Pooches on Parade:

IMG_6379Nick Kavanagh (right), the nephew of our newly retired Witherell Board chairman David Ormsby, brought his uncle’s beautiful Golden Retriever Sobe to share with us.  They are pictured with Witherell resident Dick Allen.

IMG_6384Mary Magnusson (right), a regular at Pooches on Parade, and her rescued Cocker Spaniel Cocoa Bear visit with Witherell resident Frances Newman.

IMG_6431Witherell resident Margaret Kummer cuddles with an adorable four-month-old Shi Tzu named Savannah (or Savvy for short). Savvy belongs to Diane Connors, who can usually be found volunteering in our gift shop on Friday afternoons.

IMG_6394Our four-legged friend Samson, a lively yellow Lab, is recovering from surgery to his “elbow” (you can still see where his fur was shaved), but he was game to show off his ball retrieving talents.

Unsaved Preview Document Don Fowley and his Labradoodle Thunder are Witherell regulars. They both come on Monday mornings to help with our Catholic Mass.


Witherell resident Dorothy Colello reaches down to pet Lisa Wysocki’s (standing) rescued Papillon Jean Pierre. Wysocki is also a regular volunteer, who usually comes with her cat Boots for our bi-weekly Cat Club.

IMG_6416Kay Mondello and her Cockapoo Ruffy greet Witherell resident Andree Bohy. Mondello and Ruffy, who’ve been visiting Witherell since 2008, always dress for the show’s theme. They also bring postcards of Ruffy to hand out to the residents.

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Young family members of one of our short-term rehab patients brought two dogs, Lucky and Max.

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