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Kim

Kim and Sara

Type of dog:

Jack Russell X

Location:

NSW

Visits:

Elizabeth House

Volunteering:

Since July 2009

I found out about Delta when I attended a pet expo at Rosehill Racecourse. I went straight home and downloaded the application forms and then Sara and I turned up for our assessment day.

Being a bit shy and not really knowing what was involved, we didn't pass the first time. So I decided to try again 3 months later and we were accepted. Sara looked smart in her new bandanna and I think I looked pretty good in my red T-shirt too and we were ready to go!!

After attending the seminar, I realised the commitment involved and decided since we had gone this far we may as well keep going.

I arrived at my facility on the first day and introduced myself to the occupational therapist, took a look around and noticed that the residents were very friendly and the staff very helpful. On the next visit, I was very nervous but Sara went in as if she owned the place. The residents were delighted to see her. They kept asking me where Jesse was. I asked the staff who is Jesse. They explained that Jesse was the previous therapy dog that used to visit. I found out that Jesse and her owner James attend the same dog club as myself what a coincident! On my next visit, I informed them that Jesse was well and so was James.

On one of our visits, a resident who had suffered a stroke and was bedridden, came to life when Sara and I came into her room. She could not talk but her eyes lit up, and she made a woooh sound when she touched Sara with her hand. I went home that day and realised that our visits do mean a lot to these people.  I knew also that some of the residents didn't get any visitors which meant no stimulation other than when we came. It really moved me and made me feel valued and that both Sara and I were really needed.

Another amusing story, is about a regular resident called Pauline. When she first met Sara she patted her and said she had a dog called Sally and she missed her very much. Every time when we come in she asks what's her name (meaning Sara) and how old is she. I told my husband when we came home, it is like meeting new people each time we visit as she and a few of the other residents have dementia.

On one of our recent visits, we came into the dining room. I told Sara to go and say hello to one of the new residents. Usually she sits next to them and they pat her or give her a dog treat. Not this day, she jumped straight up into his lap and sat there waiting for a pat. I found out from his son that he had a dog at home. Unfortunately he only speaks Italian and I don't. However Sara helped us to communicate without words.

One of our regulars called Robert, is a mad Tigers supporter and Sara sits on the end of his bed and we talk about the football.  Sara enjoys our time visiting. It has enriched our lives and gets me out of bed in the morning. I would highly recommend visiting with Delta especially if you love your dog and want to give back to the community.


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