The same little ball of fur with the soulful brown eyes, who comforted her owner during a bout of depression, now brings cheer to the residents of West Shore Village. Lynda Mills explains that she was at a low point in her life, having lost her job at age 69, when she got her 4th Shih Tzu, Molly Mae. Because the puppy was very affection- ate and smart enough to learn tricks, Lynda pursued the idea of having Molly certified as a therapy dog. She passed with flying colours. Molly brings back the elderly’s memories of their own beloved pets, Lynda noted. On Thursday mornings, Lynda and Molly visit West Shore Village. Everyone sits in a circle to enjoy the show while Molly, off leash, enter- tains with her tricks. She can dance, do “high tens,” roll over and play dead. She also speaks and shakes a paw. Adorable Molly is eager to please. The wee three-year-old, 12 lb. canine bundle of joy visits individually with each person, “gently jumping up on their knee” for some cuddles. Every time they visit, one lady always exclaims, “You made my day!” Molly and Lynda are also welcome visitors at Lakeridge Health Port Perry. After checking in with the nurse, Lynda just pokes her head into any rooms with open doors, to see if any of the patients would like Molly to brighten their day. Sometimes people from West Shore are in the hospital and they are especially excited to see the two familiar faces. A volunteer for Community Care, Lynda really enjoys the company of senior citizens, and “loves to hear their stories.” Both Lynda and Molly look forward to visiting everyone. Lynda and “her little girl” start- edmakingtheroundslastDecember and even visited on Christmas Day. On Mothers’ Day, her daughter Lisa, a firefighter, came along to greet everyone at West Shore. When Lisa commented, “I’m proud of you, mom!” it warmed Lynda’s heart. LYNDA & MOLLY’S STORY “Dogs are nonjudgmental, and able to go up to anybody to give and receive love,” pointed out Marsha Seens, the Community Services Coordinator for St. John’s Ambulance. Her role, overseeing all volunteer programs, includes the therapy dog program. There are eight therapy dogs in Scugog Township, who light up the lives of hospital patients and people living at seniors’ residences. “Therapy dogs help with rehabilitation, lowering blood pressure and easing the mind,” Marsha says. Four-legged friends bring smiles to local seniors Molly and Andy full of PAWS itive enthusiasm Molly taking treat from resident Anthony Visser. ...................... Please turn to page 12 PHOTOS BY MARYANN FLEMING FOCUS - JULY 2017 11