Sophie is a favorite volunteer at Beverly Park Place

Susan EspirituGibbs/Corryton, Our Town Neighbors

Sachi, as a H.A.B.I.T. volunteer with students

Volunteering Sachi, my Japanese Spitz, as a H.A.B.I.T. dog at Children’s Hospital and my previous school was most rewarding in the pre-pandemic days. So, when Susan Smith, the activities director at Beverly Park Place, speaks about Sophie, a Pekinese who visits her residents becoming one of the family, my heart melts.

Susan says Sophie has been visiting staff and residents at Beverly Park Place since she was 4 months old and she will be 10 years old on September 13. Sophie dresses up for most special occasions and is rewarded with bacon, egg, cheese biscuits with lots of extra bacon for doing so. Sophie is usually there once or twice weekly, sharing her love with everyone.

Sophie in one of her many costumes made by her human mom

Sophie has a special connection to Beverly Park Place since her human mom, Donna Lephew, has been a nurse practitioner there for 20 years. Donna has been faithful in making costumes, dresses and sponsoring yearly birthday parties for Sophie. I expect this 10th birthday will be an especially big celebration.

Unfortunately, Sophie is slowing down with age, but she has a little sister, Iris, who is picking up the slack for her and will take over at Sophie’s retirement.

Susan says they will have a huge retirement party for Sophie when the time comes to “Thank Sophie, for sharing her love, hugs and kisses with everyone for so many years.”

If you have a potentially good volunteer pet to visit schools, homes or hospitals, contact H.A.B.I.T. (Human Animal Bond of Tennessee) H.A.B.I.T. for information about next steps.

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