Stanley the gentle giant woos seniors in Mukilteo

MUKILTEO, Wash. -- Stanley the dog is pretty popular in Mukilteo, and you see it the moment he walks into the Harbour Point Senior Living community.

The 4-year-old pit bull visits the Mukilteo retirement community every Tuesday, and he's quickly become a welcomed tradition.

Stanley provides the companionship of a furry friend, which is something that many of the residents have to give up when they move out of their homes and into senior communities.

Angelia Brigance, the executive director of Harbour Pointe, sees firsthand how a visit with a pet can impact the well-being of senior citizens, including lowering blood pressure and stress levels.

“They don’t have the ability to take care of a pet, so having a pet visit is like having their own dog come visit once a week,” says Brigance. "If a resident is anxious and there is a dog there, what better therapy is that? There is no drug that can do that.”

Mukilteo animal control officer Shanita Duke accompanies Stanley on his visits. She adopted him when he was just a few weeks oldand has watched him grow into a gregarious gentle giant enjoying his role as a therapy dog.

“He loves everyone,” says Duke. “He just wants to go up to everyone and say, ‘Hi.’”