More than 250 men and women from the National Guard stationed in Washington, D.C. had a surprise visit arranged by the Hamilton Hotel, where they've been staying for nearly a month. A dozen therapy dogs were brought in by local nonprofit organization People Animals Love (PAL) as a thank you gesture for the group's service.
The majority of the National Guard members are from outside the D.C. area, and they've been away from their own families and pets for several weeks. The visiting pooches were accompanied by their owners, who also had an opportunity to express their gratitude. The furry visitors and their owners were positioned at various spots throughout the hotel to comply with social distancing guidelines.
PAL provides therapy dogs, grief counseling on the loss of a pet, and in a clever response to stay-at-home requirements, Zoom sessions where kids read to a dog for 30 minutes to gain skill and confidence reading aloud.
The Hamilton Hotel dates back to an original 1851 building that was rebuilt in 1922 in the Beaux Arts and Art Deco styles featuring an arch and vaulted entry, grand lobby, and ornate interiors. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hamilton Hotel has hosted many inaugural balls and served as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's War Room during World War II.
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