Nursing homes in Wisconsin still aren't allowing visitors inside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but these restrictions are only for humans.
Sayde, a 12-week-old yellow lab, visits weekly to bring joy to the residents at SSM Health St. Clare Meadows Care Center.
"The residents, I think really enjoy seeing her," Jared Beckwith, Sayde's owner, said. "It's good to get rid of her for an hour or two when she's a puppy."
A few weeks ago, Beckwith was doing construction work outside the building when Teri Fichter, a volunteer coordinator, noticed Beckwith and Sayde outside.
"He opened the door and out came this little thing. I was like, 'Oh my goodness! We should bring her inside to share with the residents,'" Fichter said.
Now, every Monday for about an hour, Sayde spends time with the residents — sometimes having a little too much fun — and brings joy back to a place where they need it most.
"They haven't seen family members or it's just staff that comes in. We are their family, and now Sayde has become part of their family," Fichter said.
Beckwith said he plans to keep bringing Sayde to the nursing home for years to come.