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Michelle Hardy

01/31/2009 04:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

A former firefighter and paramedic, Michelle Hardy has made a life out of helping people in their time of need. After an injury forced her to retire, she started two assisted living facilities, Apple Ridge and Ivy Ridge, where she strives to make a home away from home for the elderly. “At my facilities, people can have an apartment, their own furniture, cable - a more independent lifestyle – so they don’t have to give everything up,” she explains. “Families are happier because they don’t have to feel guilty about leaving Mom and Dad in a home.” In addition, each week Hardy takes her beloved Pit Bull mix, Brownie, to assisted living facilities throughout the Sacramento area, cheering up residents wherever she goes.

Hardy adopted Brownie after she had been abused and abandoned by her former owners; Hardy put Brownie through a rigorous one-year course to become a certified therapy dog. Although Pit Bulls have a reputation for being aggressive, Hardy insists that Brownie is far from the stereotype. “She is the sweetest dog you know,” she says. “If you’re sitting there in a wheelchair, she’ll put her head on your lap.”

The recent economic crisis has deeply affected both of Hardy’s facilities, but she insists that it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to make people happy. “If you don’t have money, donate time,” she urges. “Make one person smile, knowing that it might be their last.” For more information on volunteering, contact Hardy at

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