PHOTO: Elaine Rosenthal and Pat Weed visiting with Elaine’s dog, Netty. Photo by Veritas Collaborations and RSM resident Marie Godfrey.
During its celebration of 100 years of serving Jewish Portland’s elders, Cedar Sinai Park is sharing 100 stories of people who live, work and volunteer on the senior living campus. To receive a new story every time one is published, sign up at: cedarsinaipark.org/our-stories.
In the latest story, Arlene Layton explores the richness pets add to life at Rose Schnitzer Manor. Arlene retired to RSM in 2016 after a long career in communications including public information and communication manager for the Oregon Historical Society and development/marketing director for Coast Community Radio.
Here’s an excerpt from Arlene’s story.
“Give her some love, Chico,” Rose Schnitzer Manor resident Rachel Hasson cajoles the Humpty Dumpty-shaped, poodle-mix, ball of hair waddling down the hall beside her. Chico edges closer to the ankle of a passing neighbor, offering his greying muzzle for a pat. Rachel, a retired pediatrician from Los Angeles and an accomplished artist, is one of the growing number of elders arriving at Rose Schnitzer with dogs, cats, perhaps even a rabbit or gerbil in tow.
Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows there’s nothing quite like the slightly slurpy feel of a dog’s welcoming lick or the soft vibration of a cat’s thrumming purr as it rubs against your leg. Scientists and pet owners have known for decades that animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. Pets can also have an astounding effect on symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness.
Rose Schnitzer Manor’s Elaine Rosenthal couldn’t agree more. Elaine is a people person who likes to remind her friends she “has broad shoulders” and is prepared to sit down and hash out even the most personal of topics. Netty, the caramel-colored poodle mix who arrived with her from Wyoming, is an extrovert in her own right, albeit a bit shaggy. Netty has evolved into a Rose Schnitzer mascot. More important, this happy pup provides Elaine with loving companionship during these long hours of self-confinement. “I’m never really alone,” she says of the quarantine.
A whopping 48% of AARPs poll respondents were cat owners. Marie Godfrey and Shyrlee Goodman are very much a part of that proportion. Both are long-time cat lovers who brought their furry family members with them to Rose Schnitzer. Both women will tell you their feline friends are low maintenance, fiercely independent and value their own alone time.
Like their owners, all the pets at Rose Schnitzer are seniors. Like their owners, all are navigating the perils of old age with grace and humor and love.
Read Arlene Layton's full story and see many more pictures of RSM pets by Veritas Collaborations and RSM resident Marie Godfrey at cedarsinaipark.org/2020/08/12/the-shaggy-life-at-rose-schnitzer-manor/