In the lead up to and on today (Thursday 26th August), HC-One care homes across the UK celebrated National Dog Day. To mark the day, Residents enjoyed visits from furry friends, spending quality time interacting with the friendly pups, giving them lots of love, hugs, snuggles and kisses.
At Overdene House Care Home in Winsford, Cheshire, some very special four-legged friends brought smiles, laughter and lots of cuddles.
Cath Burns, Home Manager at Overdene House Care Home has always brought her dogs to work with her. This started with one dog, three years ago and she now has three beautiful canine friends which she brings into the home.
Cath said, “When I realised the smiles my dogs bought and the calming effect they had on Residents, I had to get more! They are my dogs but belong to all of my Residents, I do not see them from 8am until 6pm as they just curl up with Residents.
“These dogs have bought happiness and laughter and encouraged exercise and mobility. The dogs have kept poorly Residents company, given out love and cuddles to those missing loved ones and have brought some lovely memories back about Residents’ own dogs which has started up long conversations about the good times they had with their own dogs. They make us all smile every day!”
Poppy, a brown and white Jack Russell Terrier cross, is a rescue dog adopted by Cath at three weeks old. She was two years old when Cath started at Overdene House and Poppy soon became the princess to all Residents. Nelson is also a Jack Russell Terrier and came to live with Cath at four weeks old. He has been bought up at Overdene House and loves pats, scrounging for food and keeping anyone who is poorly company. He is a really great therapy dog and all the Residents love him. Maisie is cute, cuddly, naughty and cheeky – she loves going in the water and running around, she always makes everyone laugh! Each dog has a bed under Cath’s desk and is very well-behaved. Residents love the cuddles and the games they play with the dogs, including ‘keep up the balloon’.
At Chaseview Care Home in Burntwood, Staffordshire, Wellbeing Coordinator, Paige, brought her four-month-old Labrador, Rolex, in to meet the Residents.
The Residents and Colleagues loved him and he was very well-behaved throughout the visit. Rolex is a very loving and friendly pup who enjoys having his belly rubbed all day, every day. His favourite treat is a tasty rabbit ear and he knows that he has to give out a big high five to get one.
Rolex was in his element as soon as he entered the home as he knew everyone was about to make a big fuss. He was in and out of Residents’ rooms, giving love as he explored and met the Residents who are cared for in their rooms, so no one missed out.
Paige remarked, “Pet therapy is a really important part of our Residents’ lives as it really helps promote their wellbeing and lifts their moods! I am training Rolex to be able to do longer visits and eventually he will be in all day with myself on shift as a regular pet therapy dog at Chaseview.”
In addition to Rolex visiting the home, there was also a pet therapy with fellow canine friend, Mila. Carer, Chanel, brought her lovely little four month old Dachshund puppy, Mila, in to provide some comfort to Residents.
Another Resident, Rosamund, experienced amazing benefits from the pet therapy session. Due to Rosamund’s condition, unfortunately, her motor skills have been impaired but when Mila was placed on her lap, her mood brightened and she wrapped her arm around Mila, pulling her in close for a cuddle. Her facial expressions and reaction were incredible and proved how important pet therapy really is.
Overall, the dogs were all on their best behaviour and had a lovely temperament, receiving a very warm welcome from the Residents who enjoyed their company and the comfort they offered. The precious pups were gentle and offered affection to Residents and Colleagues alike. The dogs were fussed over all day and received plenty of attention and strokes. Residents were also in for a treat as they watched the dogs perform their best tricks. Residents enjoyed discussing their favourite breed of dog and their own pet dogs they’d had during their childhood, as the dogs brought back up old memories. The day was a great success, with animal-loving Residents smiling from ear to ear as they celebrated National Dog Day.
In Salford, Manchester at Pendleton Court Care Home, Residents enjoyed an exciting visit by four-legged friend, Basil, one of the Resident’s daughter’s dogs. Jan often brings Basil to see her mother, Margaret and other fellow Residents.
Wellbeing Coordinator at Pendleton Court Care Home, Lesley, took Basil on a tour of the home to meet Residents and their faces lit up when they saw him. One Resident, Josie B, talked about how she loves dogs because one saved her from drowning when she was a child. The Residents loved giving Basil lots of attention.
Lesley commented, “Basil has brought so much joy to Residents and the benefits to their wellbeing is fantastic. Basil’s mum, Jan, is very kind to let me take Basil around to see the Residents.”
At Greengables Care Home in Congleton, Cheshire, Colleagues brought their pet dogs to work with them to compete in a dog show, as entertainment for Residents with a total of seven dogs taking part. Residents voted for their winners in nine different categories and then selected the overall winner of ‘Best in Show’.
The dogs paraded around in front of the Residents where they were all introduced to each other. The winner received a prize and a certificate, and the dogs enjoyed visiting the home too.
Residents particularly enjoyed watching the dogs perform tricks including catching biscuits, shaking hands and dancing along to music.
Home Manager at Greengables Care Home, Dawn Sadler, said, “It was really a fun-packed day for everyone involved.”
In Whittlesey, Peterborough at The Gables Care Home, Residents recently enjoyed welcoming a number of furry friends to their home.
Kathleen, a Resident at The Gables, mentioned to Wellbeing Coordinator, Jane that she missed her dog so much since moving into the care home.
A few days later, Jane walked to work with her two dogs, Teddy and Betsy to surprise Kathleen, who came outside to see them and was delighted. She gently stroked the dogs and asked lots of inquisitive questions about them. Kathleen said getting to meet and spend time with the dogs made her day.