Yesterday we had a great day visiting an Aged Care Facility in Gippsland with a group of puppies. The residents there always enjoy it when we bring puppies in. It’s said that puppies bring joy to people, and we can always see that in the faces of those who we visit.
These visits are designed to bring happiness to the residents in the aged care facilities – it brightens their day seeing the cute puppies; holding them and patting them. It would not be possible for these residents to have this experience any other way as we bring them in for short visits, until the residents and puppies are both worn out (usually for an hour or two). The puppies can then go home to their siblings and beds, and the elderly residents can have a rest.
Our puppies also benefit through being socialised with different age groups. We have special staff employed at Banksia Park Puppies who play with the dogs and puppies on a daily basis, but this additional socialisation helps the puppies to adapt to other people.
We always enjoy these visits, and while the residents pat and cuddle the dogs, they spend time telling us about the dogs that they used to have, what they looked like, and their different personalities. One story which stood out from yesterday’s visit was a lady who used to have a Labrador. Whenever she took it for a walk it would sit on the neighbours lawn and refuse to move. She soon worked out that it was waiting there for the neighbour to come out and give it a treat! Only then would she continue on the walk. The Labrador did this every time she went out, which started off as incredibly frustrating! But now it’s a story that is part of this resident’s life.
These visits bring a spark to the eyes of the residents and we are privileged to be regular visitors.