Nursing home residents visiting with 8 puppies is the purest thing you’ll see today

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“I’ve owned Boxers for 32 years and have a Facebook group ‘Everyday Boxer‘ with nearly 50,000 Boxer fanatics. I breed on occasion.

womans holds white puppy close to elderly woman in a wheelchair
Melinda Vogt/Four Fountains

When the pups are six weeks I begin socialization, and one of my favorite things to do with them is visit the elderly at Four Fountains nursing home.

elderly man in nursing home lays in bed with puppy on his chest
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

When I was a child my grandmother took me to visit her mother in a nursing home every Tuesday for almost a decade. Many years later, Grandma also finished out the last year of her life there.

nursing home woman snuggles with white puppy in her lap
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

My family always made sure someone was there every day for both of my grandmas. But for many residents, that’s not the case. Some go years without a single visitor.

man leans over with white puppy in his arms to let elderly woman pet it
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
elderly man sits in chair while someone holds a puppy out for him to pet
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

It’s heartbreaking to see so much loneliness in a group of people that should be held in the highest regard.

elderly woman clasps her hands together and smiles at the puppy being held up to her
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
nursing home resident in wheelchair smiles as she holds a puppy and elderly woman in background watches
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
nursing home resident lies in bed petting a white puppy that is lying next to him
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

I wear them out before I take them in.

puppies sitting and laying on a blanket with toys surrounding them
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

The second we walk in with a basket full of puppies, all that loneliness is washed away, if only for a moment.

puppies sit in laundry basket with a red and white blanket with paw prints on in in from of fire hydrant
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
puppies trying to get out of laundry basket
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

The residents smile, laugh and share with me so many memories of their pets.

nursing home resident smiles as puppy lays in her lap
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
elderly woman holds puppy up with confused look on her face
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

It is my hope that sharing these images of pure happiness will encourage others to visit the elderly with their pets.”

elderly man looks down while puppy stands in his lap
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
nursing home resident smiles and pets puppy that is in her lap
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
elderly woman sits in wheelchair with puppy sitting up in her lap
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
worker holds puppy to resident in wheelchair while resident makes worried face while another worker leans on wheelchair
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer
someone holds puppy to resident while resident touches the puppy's paw
Brett Kaemmerer/Everyday Boxer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brett Kaemmerer, 40, of Belleville, Illinois. Submit your story here.

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