“There is no rhyme or reason on breed picking,” Bertke said.
Bertke’s dogs have gone through obedience training at Big Time Kennel in Centerville and he works on other training with them.
The dogs have been at Trinity since they were puppies. None of the dogs have come through agencies that provide dogs for such uses. Bertke said he doesn’t recommend rescue dogs for this kind of work, because they are harder to train and their backgrounds are often unknown.
“The residents love puppies and they love babies,” said Ron Easthon, director of marketing.
Trinity staff say the dogs have a positive impact on residents’ morale and emotions, especially with newer arrivals to the nursing home.
“Never had a complaint, we had one question the program and raised concerns, polled current population of residents and overwhelmingly said you better not get rid of the program,” Easthon said.
Long-term-care resident Evelyn Buschur lights up when you talk about the dogs at Trinity. Buschur is a dog owner, too.
“Her family piped up and said how much she loves dogs and looks forward to seeing them,” Easthon said. “They specifically named Roxy and pulled out a bag of treats they keep in her dresser in her room to give them.”
Roxy, a mixed breed, along with Jax, a mastiff mix, are the other dogs at Trinity.
The dogs consider Trinity another home because they are there three to four days a week and the residents keep treats ready for their furry friends.
The dogs are limited to where they can and cannot go, based on whether residents have allergies or don’t prefer the canine company. “Certain dogs in certain areas,” Bertke said.
Trinity Community of Beavercreek is at 3218 Indian Ripple Road. For more information on the dog program, contact Easthon at 937-426-8481.