Happy hound brings companionship to aged care residents

Teresa Rose with Tully and Sister Teresa Daly.
Teresa Rose with Tully and Sister Teresa Daly.

FOR many people, having a pet around the house is a normal part of life.

This is why Tully – a two-and a half year-old pooch – has proven so popular at two residential aged care homes in Craigie and Edgewater.

The happy hound has been visiting residents at Mercyville and Mercy Place Edgewater every fortnight since he used his charms as a 10-week old pup to win over his owner Teresa Rose, who was a carer, lifestyle co-ordinator and member of the pastoral care team at the homes for almost 20 years until she retired at the end of March.

Mercyville service manager Alison Devonport said Tully was a source of companionship for seniors, many of whom owned and loved dogs in their younger years.

“Having pets around is all part of a natural living environment,” she said.

“Tully makes Mercyville and Mercy Place Edgewater feel more like home, and he also provides a talking point for residents to reminisce about their own pets.

“His presence is also very relaxing for residents; they love stroking him and giving him treats, and his visits certainly increase interactivity with residents who are living with dementia.

“The feedback we’ve received from everyone has been very positive.”

Ms Rose said the outings were also a treat for Tully.

“He’s a real personality dog who refuses to be ignored and would happily be stroked and fed all day,” she said.

“Having him visit really does brighten the day for many of the residents, so it’s no surprise that animal interaction is a great source of therapy.

“Even residents who have had little experience with dogs cannot resist his appealing looks and nature.”