Dogs ease pandemic isolation for nursing home residents

After months of social distancing, residents of a Bronx nursing home are getting some much-needed snuggles from a crew of canine companions.

Eileen Nagle is a resident of Hebrew Home at Riverdale overlooking the Hudson River. She says petting a peppy little bichon frise named Zeus brings her joy at a time when she can see her family only in video chats and drive-by visits.

Hebrew Home, operated by RiverSpring Health, has had a dog therapy program for 20 years but suspended it when the pandemic lockdown started in March. Now it’s renewing and expanding the program to help fill residents’ need for affectionate physical interactions.