About the Caring Canines Calendar

Pets--including dogs--have been visiting nursing facilities and other health care settings for many years. Over time, these visits have made such a difference in the lives of patients that an actual field of study—animal-assisted therapy—has evolved. Research studies have documented the many benefits of this for elders and others.

They have found that pets help reduce depression, loneliness, and anxiety; improve mental function; and lower blood pressure and heart rate. But elders who love animals and treasure their time with pets already knew that pets can be better than pills sometimes.

Today, many facilities have formal animal-assisted therapy and pet visitation programs that involve not just dogs and cats but exotic creatures--such as lizards and chinchillas--and farm animals. Programs such as the Eden Alternative, in an effort to maximize the quality of life for residents and make facilities more home-like, bring animals such as dogs, cats, and birds to live onsite with residents.

Through the publication of the Caring Canines calendar the AMDA Foundation sought to document their touching and inspiring personal stories about these initiatives. Over the years we have received hundreds of snapshots from nursing facilities of their favorite caring canine or other furry friends - including animals that physicians or other practitioners own and take to their long term care facility on a regular basis, resident canines that live at the facility, or residents’ animals who are popular members of their community.

One medical director talks about how the pet program at her facility led her to adopt a cat and become active in her local humane society. Another tells of watching a resident create a path of pretzels on her floor in hopes of attracting the physician’s dog for a personal visit.

As this calendar shows, the close connection between people and pets doesn’t diminish just because someone is in a long term care facility. In fact, the bond often is heightened and brings a miraculous source of joy to residents—not to mention staff. We hope that you will enjoy this calendar, and share your stories of long term care pet-people miracles that you’ve experienced or witnessed with us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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  • Ordering is easy and at $16.95 each, it is the perfect holiday gift for colleagues, family, and friends. In addition to the convenience of ordering online, there is a discount when you purchase multiple copies. The more you order, the bigger the discount!
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Order Your 2016 Caring Canines Calendar Now and Support AMDA Foundation Education and Research Programs.

Many Thanks!

Many people were involved in the creation of this project. We would like to thank the following long term care facilities for their participation, for without them this calendar wouldn’t be possible.

  • Acacia Health Center, Phoenix, AZ
  • Arroyo Grande Care Center, Arroyo Grande, CA
  • Bayside Care Center, Morro Bay, CA
  • Fair Oaks of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Golden Living Center Brandywine, Greenfield, IN
  • Golden Living Center William Penn, Lewistown, PA
  • Hospice Partners of the Central Coast,
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • The Inn at The Fountains at La Cholla, Tucson, AZ
  • The Laurels of Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley, Littleton, MA
  • Maluhia LTC, Honolulu, HI
  • Mission View Health Center, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Oaknoll Retirement Residence, Iowa City, IA
  • Silverado Senior Living, Alhambra, CA
  • Sterling House and Clare Bridge, Owatonna, MN
  • Thunderbird Retirement Resort, Glendale, AZ

Special thanks to photographers: Bethany Walter – Bethany Walter Photography. Like many others in this project, she volunteered her time and incredible talents to help make this project a success.