Acts of Kindness
Tiny dog rides elevator every day with heartwarming mission
This is so sweet.
Rachel Shapiro
11.22.21

Dogs are famous for their ability to sense when someone needs comfort. They’re masters at reading human emotions and realizing when someone could use a good cuddle.

A teacup poodle named Nala is the perfect example of this. She’s an incredibly empathetic animal who helps out at a Minnesota nursing home.

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She’s a dog that’s been called an “angel.”

One day, Nala’s owner, Doug Dawson, decided to take her into the Lyngblomsten Care Center where he worked. But instead of sticking with Doug, the five-year-old pup wandered off to meet the nursing home’s residents.

From that day on, she’s had a positive effect on their lives.

Nala gave the residents at the St. Paul facility tons of love and joy. She began traveling between rooms – stopping to sit on laps, get cuddles, and provide comfort to those who needed it most.

Doug told KARE 11:

“If you put her down she’ll pick out the person with Alzheimer’s. She has a way of picking the sick.”

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Nala’s beautiful connection with everyone was apparent, so she started going to work with her dad on a regular basis.

It didn’t take long before the teacup poodle had her own schedule. All Doug would do is drop her off in the elevator, then she’d go off to visit friends on the different floors of the facility.

(Nala needed a little help with the buttons, of course!)

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During his interview with a KARE 11 reporter, Doug said:

“She’d rather ride it alone than with people, because she knows where she’s going. If she could, she would push the button herself.”

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The friendly poodle would spend all day making her rounds at Lyngblomsten.

Despite her amazing connection with people, Nala isn’t a formally trained therapy dog. However, it doesn’t stop her from acting like one.

Nala would “work” from the time she and Doug arrived in the morning until it was time to clock out. In fact, the two of them would be like passing ships in the hallway!

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Each resident developed their own special relationship with Nala. 90-year-old Ruth New said she was “an angel.”

Those at the nursing home also felt that Nala could sense when a person was near the end of their life. It’s almost as if the poodle really was sent from up above.

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Nala won hearts around the world.

The “elevator riding” pooch went viral after being featured on Boyd Huppert’s “Land of 10,000 Stories.” Five years later, KARE 11 contacted Doug to catch up on things.

Turns out, 10-year-old Nala was still going to work with him every day, and hadn’t lost any of her energy! Unfortunately, Doug had to put a slight pause on taking her into the nursing home because of the coronavirus. Naturally, the residents were missing Nala (and vice versa!).

Doug explained how he received letters and dog toys from people across the globe. In fact, he hadn’t had to purchase a toy since the story aired! He said:

“It’s just amazing what this little dog has done.”

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In July of 2020, Nala’s owner, Doug Dawson, sadly passed away.

The tiny poodle is still making a big difference.

Since losing her friend, Nala has been providing strength and comfort to Doug’s grieving wife, Javon Allen.

Allen shared:

“She’s been my rock through this whole thing.”

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Nala has a truly beautiful soul and she’s able to spread love without even thinking about it. What a great dog.

Check out a video about Nala below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Rachel Shapiro
hi@sbly.com
Rachel Shapiro is a contributing writing at Shareably. She is based in New York and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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