Posted: August 26, 2020
With few indoor entertainment venues available right now, many Denverites have turned to the great outdoors for exercise, rest and exploration. And many are finding that they are getting extra enjoyment out of the experience by sharing it with their four-legged friends.
Russ and Cathy Jones, who live at Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial, would certainly agree. “We walk a mile a day or more with Louise,” Russ shared recently. “We really think it’s terrific for her, especially now that she is losing her hearing, she is particularly stimulated by the sense of smell and all the smells outside.”
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It’s a great excuse for the Joneses too — to enjoy their community and meet new people, especially at a time when social distancing has made connections harder to form.
“We’ve certainly made acquaintances with other dog people as a result,” Russ explained. “I think the golden retriever breed in particular loves human contact, even more than eating. They really thrive on human contact. Louise likes other dogs and people too — it’s kind of like she thinks it’s her duty to be social chairman of the neighborhood. I think it’s just enriched our lives in so many ways.”
The Joneses adopted Louise from the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR), a group the couple has volunteered with now for over 10 years. In the past, the couple has volunteered to walk dogs waiting for adoption and helped GRRR with its annual fundraiser.
Now, with social distancing and so many people getting outside, there are more walkers than needed, and GRRR has moved fundraisers online. The group is still hard at work, though, to care for and adopt goldens. They are even providing housing for golden retrievers whose owners are currently evacuated due to the fires raging in western Colorado.
This year, Russ and Cathy are celebrating National Dog Day (August 26) by remembering all of the things they have learned and are grateful for from their time spent with nine goldens over 40 years.
“They give back so much more than we can give them. I think they make you a better person — we’re more sensitive to people and other animals as a result,” Russ shared. “And they sense moods really well — they are great consolers. If they sense that you are angry or sad, they come over and comfort you. And we’ve heard over and over again that they can sense cancer and other diseases.”
“They don’t make any judgements,” Cathy agreed, “And they listen when you talk to them.”
Among the things they are grateful for, Russ and Cathy listed the community that they are now able to share with Louise.
“When we started looking around at possible retirement places, we knew we didn’t want to move anywhere that didn’t take dogs,” Cathy explained. “We’ve really enjoyed having our dogs here.”
Once social distancing precautions are lifted, the Joneses plan to take Louise into the main building at Holly Creek for regular visits to their new neighbors. In the meantime, they will continue to volunteer and donate to GRRR and get Louise out for regular walks on the nearby High Line Canal.
To explore more about life at Holly Creek Life Plan Community, check out https://www.hollycreekcommunity.com/blog/. For more about Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies and how you can donate, adopt or volunteer, visit https://www.goldenrescue.com/.