Trainee Pet As Therapy Dog Brings So Much Joy – and Lots of Cuddles – to Friends of the Elderly’s Malvern Day Care Centre
Clients at Friends of the Elderly’s Malvern Day Care in Worcestershire enjoyed weekly visits from Monty, a cheeky and loving Golden Retriever, newly accredited Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog.
Monty’s owner, Craig Macbeth, had been wanting to register Monty as a PAT dog for a while, and thought that visiting the charity’s Malvern Day Care and interacting with the clients, would be a great, gentle way to start Monty’s PAT trainee training journey – and, great news, Monty passed his PAT Assessment on 8th March.
“Monty is extremely affectionate and has such a caring nature,” said Shirley Bradley, the Head of Day Care Services at Friends of the Elderly. “When I spoke to Craig about Monty becoming a regular visitor, we both agreed it would be an ideal fit that would not only benefit Monty and help his PAT career, but also bring so many benefits to our clients who are living with dementia.”
Monty has been visiting Malvern Day Care since November 2021 and has become a fast favourite with the clients. “Monty thoroughly enjoys his visits and loves seeing his friends at the day care service,” said Craig. “I have had Monty for three years and he is such a people-person dog, so friendly, kind and fun-loving, he is a joy to be around and you can see the happiness he brings to everyone he meets.
“Monty’s trained to be a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, not an Assistance Dog, the two terms can sometimes get a bit confused. As a PAT dog, Monty’s role is to bring therapeutic benefits to those he visits. For example, by visiting and interacting with the Malvern Day Care clients, Monty can cheer people up, improve a person’s mood, help someone get through a tough day and also help clients to reminisce about their much loved pets. Monty loves to be fussed and cuddled and that’s nice not only for the clients, but also for Monty, he loves it,” Craig added.
Talking of the benefits to the Malvern Day Care clients, Shirley continued: “Our clients really seem to love Monty’s visits. He makes them smile and makes them happy. When he goes into the room, you can feel the atmosphere get even more upbeat, he has such a calming influence and the room lights up. To be honest, it also has to do with Craig as well as he is so approachable and likeable, the clients are comfortable with him and chat away gaily.