Carol Floersch enjoys living at Presbyterian Manor but until recently, she lacked something very important in her life — animals.
But that changed six weeks ago when Dottie Scholtz became chaplain.
With Scholtz came Rally, her faithful service dog. Rally, a 10-year-old golden retriever, has become something special to Floersch and other residents.
“The very first day I saw her she came right to the place where I was sitting and gave me her paw, and I just couldn’t believe how friendly and loving she was,” Floersch said. “It made me think about my 20-year-old dog that I had lost recently and hadn’t been able to bring here, so I was glad to have a dog around again.”
Certified at Princeton with NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services), Rally was trained as a service dog for ministerial purposes and working with the elderly.
Scholtz said that she knew she wanted a dog she could use to help the disabled and that Rally was the perfect match. At Presbyterian Manor, Rally has a primary mission — to give unconditional love. So far, she has accomplished that and more.
“Love and companionship are important when working with the elderly,” Scholtz said. “Rally gives them that and more. She wants to greet them — she becomes theirs, too.”
Scholtz said Rally can definitely sense when a resident is sad or something is wrong.
“She relates to them,” Scholtz said. “She’ll walk up and put her head on their lap or stay by their side, and you can just see their faces light up.”
Floersch has had many such times with Rally.
“She’s so kind and gentle and friendly — she just makes you feel good when you’re around her,” Floersch said.
For Floersch and the other residents, a paw, a kiss, a hug or just Rally’s company can make a big difference in their day.