Therapy dog owner spreads positivity

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CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH)– This story spreads positivity one paw at a time with how a therapy dog owner and her four legged friend are ‘saying it forward.’

“We’re here to spread some positivity today, how’s that?” said Sandra Centorino, Say It Forward.

The dynamic duo is putting smiles on everyone they meet at Elim Park, a continuing care retirement community.

“We spread positivity face to face,” said Centorino.

Who can resist the infectious energy of Sandra Centorino and her certified therapy dog Scooty.

“Every dog that goes by he goes nuts over, but every time he comes in here, he knows he has to be calm and loving and comforting,” said Centorino.

“You’re away from your home and then when the dog comes, it gives you a certain feeling. You feel like you’re back home again,” said Arlene Del Vecchio, Elim Park Resident.

“He brings so much joy just holding him. It made my day to tell you the truth,” said Grace Melillo, Elim Park Resident

“We could do anything to try and cheer them up. It doesn’t always work but there’s something magical about an animal,” said Pat Rubin, Elim Park Recreation Therapist.

The one-on-one contact has health benefits.

“It will bring their blood pressure down to normal, lighten their spirits, make them happy, their appetite comes back,” said Rubin.

There’s more to this happy feeling.

“This is sort of like a pay it forward but with words,” said Centorino.

Inspiring words collected from family, friends and strangers printed in the back of cards are shared with all they meet.

“We’re just all about inspiring people. We decided that one day we were just going to print positive sayings on cards and hand them to some family and friends,” said Centorino.

Say it forward was conceived by Sandra and her two daughters.

“Our mission is to spread positivity, p-a-w and p-o-s face to face. We just want to make a connection with that person and look at their face and smile at them,” said Centorino.

“We need so much of this caring and this sort of thing in our world, it’s really good to see it first hand,” said Betsy Gumbart, Elim Park Resident.

“The one I like the best is to be so happy that when others look at you, they become very happy too because that’s what I try to do,” said Melillo.

“Now your job Grace is to pass it to someone else,” said Centorino.

Passing it on so that others can catch on.

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