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Tails of Joy members volunteer throughout Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties and neighboring towns in Connecticut.

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Local Retirement Community Goes to the Dogs with Tails Of Joy

Courant Community Contributor Alisa Picerno  | Published on 1/15/2016
For the past year, the senior residents of Belden Forest Court in Simsbury have seen their independent living community go to the dogs! Actually, just one beloved dog, a Basset/Lab mix named Beau. Marilyn Douglas, a volunteer with the animal therapy organization Tails Of Joy, has been bringing Beau for regular visits since meeting Belden's Director of Operations at a Simsbury Chamber of Commerce networking event.

"I call Beau my Bassador of love because he brings joy to everyone who meets him," said Douglas. "We have a great relationship with the Belden residents who look forward to seeing Beau and hearing his stories."

Douglas usually has a theme or story that comes with each visit, and on Friday, February 5th at 4:00 pm, Beau is bringing some local Girl Scouts to read stories to him for a special program that is open to the public.

Animal Assisted Therapy can promote positive physical, emotional, and psychological benefits to the elderly, including lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving mood and depression, increasing social interaction, and even improving appetite and adherence to a medical regimen.

"Interacting with members of the community of all ages, including animals, helps keep senior citizens engaged and active," said Tony Uanino Jr, Director of Operations at Belden Forest Court. "By organizing events and welcoming groups like the Scouts, our residents are constantly meeting new people."

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