Although residents at Rose Crest Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation and Assisted Living, located in Inman, SC, may have been away from their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were not alone. 

During a time of isolation and uncertainty, residents cozied up with and trained service dogs from The Service Dog Institute in Simpsonville, SC. For almost three years, The Service Dog Institute had been bringing in service dogs to Rose Crest. Recognizing the value that the dogs brought to the residents — and vice versa — both facilities did not hesitate to bring in the dogs during the onset of the pandemic. 

Staff members were trained by the founder of The Service Dog Institute to teach the dogs various commands. Although the main goal was to train the dogs in various skills, the dogs’ presence also served a different purpose: companionship. The service dogs brought much-needed joy and stress relief to the residents and gave them comfort during an otherwise turbulent time. 

While partnered with the Service Dog Institute, RoseCrest ended up helping to train seven dogs in the span of a 14-month period. Now, all seven dogs will return to their training facility to resume their training and ultimately graduate as certified service dogs later during the summer.

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