WORKING LIKE A DOG FOR THE VETERANS

Dolley decked out in her Confederate bandana

 

Dolley with her mistress, Virginia Division UDC President Dolores Smith, at the CofC General convention in Williamsburg in July 2001.

  Ask any Virginia Daughter, and she'll tell you that Virginia Division President Dolores Smith is a dog lover. Her canine traveling companions Dolley and Angel are familiar sights at most Virginia Division functions. Dolley, a feisty 7-pound Yorkshire terrier, was named the Division's mascot in 2000 and since then has logged countless miles with her mistress on behalf of the Division. In 2003 she was joined on the road by Angel, a Yorkie-Maltese mix.

Both animals are special favorites with Virginia Division CofC members (Dolley even made a guest appearance at the CofC General convention in Williamsburg, Va., in 2001), but there's another group that looks forward to seeing Dolley and Angel even more -- the residents at the Veterans Adminstration Medical Center in Salem, Va.

Born in Madison County, Va., in 1999 and named after Dolley Madison (one of the county's most famous former residents), Dolley paid her first visit to the medical center at the age of 9 months as part of the center's Pet Therapy Program. She began by visiting patients recovering from various kinds of surgery or cancer treatments and moved on to Alzheimer's patients after just a few months "on the job." Although she makes the rounds in the Alzheimer's ward only once a month, she's an overwhelming favorite with the residents there. One gentleman who could no longer remember his own name greeted her by name on her second visit.  

Dolley at work

 

Dolley visits with a female veteran

Dolley and one of her many friends

 

Angel
"One picture is worth a thousand words."

  Although Dolley and Angel's first loyalty is to the veterans (they visit the center in Salem every weekend, putting in at least six hours a month), they have branched out to include area nursing homes, senior citizens' groups, and elementary schools. They are also available for special visits upon request.

Like the Confederate soldiers whom the UDC honors, Dolley and Angel serve where they are needed most. Virginia Division is proud to claim them as our "goodwill ambassadors."

VA medical center resident enjoys Angel's silky fur.

 

Angel takes advantage of a willing lap.

 

Dolley and Angel



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