GREYHOUND Steve is bringing a smile to the faces of residents at an aged care home in Greenmount.
Volunteers from Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) and their pets have teamed with Regis Aged Care to spend time with seniors as part of a pilot therapy dog program.
Steve’s owner Pauline Arnold, of Langford, said the therapy was a mutually beneficial initiative for residents, staff and Steve.
“Steve was a bit cautious at first, but after a couple of weeks he warmed to the task and now he’s quite eager when we get there,” she said.
“He clearly enjoys the pats and rubs he gets, but I think the real attraction is that we arrive about morning tea time.
“There’s a few people he’s really taken to, of course they tend to be people who speak ‘dog’.”
Ms Arnold e said she enjoyed listening to residents reminisce about dogs they used to own, while her faithful hound was content to have a pat.
The dog therapy is one of two volunteer programs at GAP involving animal enrichment and community engagement.
GAP team leader Lauren Savage said she hoped more aged care facilities would be interested in the fortnightly visits from volunteers and their dogs.
“Greyhounds are ideal as therapy dogs, they are loving, sensitive and the perfect height for beds and wheelchairs,” she said.
“Programs like this are a great way to promote the breed and to place greyhounds in the minds of people who perhaps hadn’t considered getting one before.
“We hope to expand the program in the coming months and encourage anyone interested to get in touch.”
For more information or to get involved, call the GAP team a call on 08 9445 5399.