Search

Poodle forges bond with care home residents

PUBLISHED: 08:36 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:08 31 January 2018

Ginger Beer at Heron Lodge. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Ginger Beer at Heron Lodge. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Archant

A dog is brightening the lives of residents at a car home in Wroxham.

Ginger Beer getting some attention at Heron Lodge. Picture: Kingsley HealthcareGinger Beer getting some attention at Heron Lodge. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

The therapeutic poodle, Ginger Beer, is proving sweet by name and nature at Heron Lodge in Norwich Road.

The dog has been visiting the home with owner Jon Wright, 71, with charity Pets As Therapy (PAT).

Retired airline pilot Mr Wright first registered to volunteer with the charity as a way of keeping Ginger Beer active after his other dog died.

Many of the residents at the home are living with dementia and in order for Ginger Beer to be registered with the charity she had to complete a rigorous temperament test, which included dropping large objects behind her and approaching her in an animated and aggressive manner.

Ginger Beer with owner Jon Wright at Heron Lodge. Picture: Kingsley HealthcareGinger Beer with owner Jon Wright at Heron Lodge. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Mr Wright said: “I knew she was calm and very well behaved but we still had to go through a 15-point check to prove she is suitable.

“She passed with flying colours and has shown how good her temperament is since we started visiting homes – on one occasion she was smacked on the nose but her only reaction was to walk on calmly to the next person.

“The bond she has formed with residents is quite remarkable.”

Janette Summer, Heron Lodge activities coordinator, said Ginger Beer had a positive impact on the home, particularly for people living with dementia.

She said: “Ginger Beer brings a lot of comfort to our residents and brings back memories of their own pets. They love to stroke her.

“Research had shown that dogs can have a relaxing effect on people living with dementia.”

There are currently 150 dogs and three cats registered with PAT in Norfolk.

However, volunteer coordinator and dog assessor for PAT Norwich, said this was not enough to satisfy demand.

She said: “Due to demand for our services, we have a massive waiting list and some places have been waiting for over six years.”

The charity was founded in 1983 with the aim of enhancing health and wellbeing in communities by bringing behaviourally assessed animals to schools, hospitals and care homes. The pets are particularly effective in providing companionship and comfort for the lonely and unwell.

If you are interested in registering you and your pet as PAT volunteers, visit petsastherapy.org

Other News

Yesterday, 18:06

It was an idea that started as a doodle in a notebook and ended up as a shed full of wonder.

Yesterday, 16:47

People can dump unwanted household chemicals at seven of Norfolk’s recycling centres during September and October.

Yesterday, 16:05

This is the mobility scooter that is said to have been stolen during an attack on its elderly owner in Great Yarmouth.

Yesterday, 15:58

Shoppers will be going bananas over a sale at the Palmers Department Stores in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Most Read

Monday, August 6, 2018

Searches are taking place for a 12-year-old boy who has gone missing from home.

Read more
Trafalgar College
Yesterday, 15:58

Shoppers will be going bananas over a sale at the Palmers Department Stores in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Read more
Tue, 16:24

A police chase in a village saw two cars crash and five people suffer injuries.

Read more
Tue, 18:47

A newly married couple have recreated their first date on Great Yarmouth’s iconic Joyland snails.

Read more
Sainsbury
Mon, 10:18

For as long as anyone can remember, river crossings have regularly made Mercury headlines.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy