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Furry Comforts: Staff Pets in Community


Mark and Axayl on the couch in McKee House.

In our therapeutic community, where healing and growth intertwine on a daily basis, a story of companionship unfolds that speaks to the impact that pets have on our lives. Mark Murray, a long-time staff member at Gould Farm, found solace and strength through his bond with his canine companion, Axayl. Mark's journey, mentioned in a recent Newsweek article, illustrates how pets can become integral parts of our lives as well as a helpful presence in therapeutic spaces.


Mark, a member of the residential team at the Farm, discovered a lifeline in the form of his four-legged friend, Axayl. "He really saved my life. When I saw a picture of Axayl... most of my sorrow [for having lost my previous dog, Cooper] left me." This connection is a testament to the healing energy that pets bring to our lives. Mark brings his pup to his shifts at McKee House, where Axayl's husky vocalizations are a welcome addition to house meetings and where guests have the opportunity to bond with him as well.


As we celebrate stories like Mark and Axayl's, we also celebrate the community-wide love of these fur babies! They bring a sense of calm and connection and remind us that sometimes, transformative support can be found in the wagging tails and warm hearts of our cherished pets.


Meet the Gould Farm Fur Babies


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