Residents at Canton United Helpers spend day with dogs
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 12:16 pm

Rita O’Connor enjoys a moment with Lilly, a three-year-old Great Pyrenees/Lab mix.

CANTON – United Helpers Maplewood residents recently got to spend a day with some visiting dogs.

Ben, a 150-pound Great Pyrenees and Lilly, an 80-pound Great Pyrenees/Lab mix were accompanied on their visit by their owners, Joseph and Debra Finnegan of Madrid, who have brought the dogs to Maplewood several times since this past summer.

“We started this back in July after Joe had his knee replacement,” Debra Finnegan said. “The residents absolutely loved them.”

Joseph Finnegan, who spent a week at Maplewood following his surgery, said the first time his wife brought Ben in for a visit, he could see that people really enjoyed having an animal around.Mildred Remington takes a minute to pet Ben, a six-year-old Great Pyrenees.

“There was one gentleman who wasn’t doing so well, but as soon as he saw Ben, he perked right up,” he said.

Ben and Lilly made their most recent visit to Maplewood on Wednesday, visiting residents in both the rehab and skilled nursing units.

“The joy dogs bring us is a wonderful thing,” said Karen Gonyea. “This is pretty good therapy.”

Another woman who spent some time with Ben and Lilly was Sandra Davis. “This has made my whole day,” she said.