Pets bring holiday cheer to Port Townsend care homes

PORT TOWNSEND — Ruby, Amadeus, Murphy and McCully paid a holiday visit to Kah Tai Care Center Saturday, but it was Kitty who brought a smile to Al Tyau’s face.

“I love cats,” Tyau said.

“If you’ve got any more like her at home, I’ll take one.”

Kitty is a feline member of Pets 2 People, a group of registered therapy pets and owners who visits Kah Tai and Victoria House regularly.

Sponsored by Olympic Mountain Pet Pals, the program is designed bring a little warmth into people’s lives, especially during the holidays.

“We enjoy the dogs so much, we thought we’d share them,” said Jenifer Taylor, owner of McCully and Fuzzy Wump, two Scottish-Cairn mix terriers.

The group visits Kah Tai twice a month, but for the pre-Christmas visit, both owners and pets put on the dog.

Nancy Schneider and her Welsh Corgi, Ruby, wore matching necklaces made of sparkly ornaments.

Jester collar

Chanate, Sue Simmonds’ retriever, wore a red and green jester collar with bells.

Amadeus, who belongs to Karen Samuelson, had on a Christmas bandanna and sat on Harold Hamsen’s lap.

“He’s a speckled schnauzer,” Hamsen joked. “You don’t see many of those.”

Judging from his felt saddle blanket, Murphy, a golden retriever owned by Diane Golden, is a canine member of “Santa’s Sleigh Team.”

Murphy is also certified in the READ program at the Port Townsend Library, where registered therapy dogs “listen” to children read, according to Robin Hake, Pets 2 People coordinator.

“He’s really a busy dog,” Hake said.

“He does multi-tasking, working with the seniors and now the kids.”

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