BARABOO, Wis. — Nursing homes and assisted living homes still are not allowing visitors inside due to COVID-19 restrictions. But SSM Health St. Clare Meadows is allowing one special visitor to bring joy to the residents.

“The residents really enjoy seeing her. It’s good to get rid of her for an hour or two when she’s a puppy. She’s rambunctious but she’s a pretty good girl,” said Jared Beckwith.

Beckwith brings his 12-week old yellow lab, Sayde, to SSM Health St. Clare Meadows every Monday for just over an hour to visit with the residents.

Five weeks ago, volunteer coordinator Teri Fichter saw Beckwith working outside on a construction project with Sayde.

“He opened the door and out came this little thing,” Fichter said. :I was like, ‘Oh my goodness! We should bring her inside to share with the residents.’ They haven’t seen family members. It’s just staff that comes in. We are their family and now Sayde has become part of their family.”

Beckwith said he’s happy to share his puppy’s love with those who need it most.

“It feels good to know that this little girl can bring happiness to so many people,” Beckwith said.

Beckwith said he plans to keep bringing Sayde to the assisted living home for years to come.

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