It does not take a scientist’s intellect to notice how pets can improve their owners’ lives, but scientifically-based research does reveal why the companion-animal bond is therapeutic. A chemical chain reaction in the brain occurs after only 15 minutes of interacting with a beloved pet and leads to lower blood pressure and reduced stress levels almost immediately. Long term, pet bonding can improve cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels and helping protect against heart disease and stroke. Residents and staff at The Stayton at Museum Way are passionate animal lovers and enjoy these benefits every day because of the pet policy that allows the seniors to bring their furry friends with them when they move into the community. In fact, the community hosted a special ceremony in honor of World Animal Day to bless and celebrate the many adorable pets that reside there and keep everyone smiling.
The Stayton’s World Animal Day event began with a “Meet and Sniff” time to mingle with refreshments and delicious treats for both the owners and their pets. The residents shared stories and laughs as they discussed unique experiences and fun, quirky attributes about their pets. Then, Rick Deleon, a Catholic lay minister who often leads services for residents, offered a blessing over the pets at the community. In closing, everyone gathered for a group photo.
“It is such a joy to see our residents here at The Stayton just beaming with their pets, so we wanted to do something to celebrate those bonds in a light-hearted and fun way,” said Amy Janak, Lifestyles Director for The Stayton at Museum Way. “We are proud to have a pet-friendly atmosphere here because we know how much pets mean to the seniors. We don’t want folks to feel like they have to give up a friend or leave a companion behind when they transition into retirement; their four-legged friends should come right along with them.”
It is common for many to consider a dog or other pet a member of the family, so The Stayton realizes the significance of bringing that companion along when moving into the community. That certainly has been the case for June George and her charming Bichon Bolognese, Sullivan, a.k.a “Sully.” They are an inseparable pair and known as a “precious couple” around campus. While she also has a cat, Oliver, George openly refers to Sully as her “main man,” and after a decade together, it is obvious Sully feels the same. She even made sure that she took a photo with Sully for The Stayton’s Resident Directory. Sully, along with the other residents’ pets, is also featured in The Stayton’s Pet Directory. It describes how he enjoys traveling and sight-seeing out the window during the drive as well as playing with the very first squeak toy he ever had and howling simultaneously.
“When I was first checking out puppies and trying to choose one, Sully ran right to me,” recalls George. “It was more like he picked me, and from that point on, we’ve had a great friendship. It was such a cute idea to have The Stayton’s World Animal Day ceremony and honor these furry friends of ours with a special blessing and treats. It was fun to get us all together and celebrate the bonds that we cherish with our pets.”
In addition to the community’s pet-friendly policy, The Stayton is in a great location for pets and their owners to spend time outdoors – just a stroll away from the Trinity River Duck Pond and park area.
Dogs and other pets often bring a strong sense of affection that is beneficial for pet owners, regardless of age. Simply having tactile stimulation through petting a dog generates emotional support through the animal’s nonverbal communication, which is soothing and brings joy to the person involved. The interaction also can raise positive childhood memories of a person’s own previous pets, and over time, those moments of bonding with the animal actually can reduce the risk of depression.
The Stayton community was happy to host this fun World Animal Day event to celebrate the relationships that mutually benefit the people and the pets living there.
Located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, The Stayton at Museum Way is an 11-story, three building community featuring 188 independent living residences with a variety of spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. In addition to resort-style independent living, The Stayton provides onsite assisted living, memory support, and private skilled nursing for life care residents and others in the community.
The Stayton at Museum Way, a Masterpiece Living® community, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit senior living community sponsored by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a Texas-based nonprofit organization that sponsors sister communities The Buckingham in Houston, Edgemere in Dallas, Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, Mirador in Corpus Christi and The Barrington of Carmel in Indianapolis. For information call (817) 439-6936 or visit www.thestayton.com.