“Smiles are usually the thanks that we love the most.”
Name: Melissa Butcher & Shilo
Type of dog: Labradoodle
Visits: Aged care; Residential care (all ages)
Volunteering: 6 months
Why: I love spending time with Shilo. She brings me a lot of happiness and I want to share that… I believe that it’s important to share the good things that we have with others. Making others happy also makes me happy.
Enjoys most: Seeing people enjoy Shilo. I love to hear the laughs, and see the smiles on the faces of the people that we visit.
Dog enjoys: The ball games, walks and treats
Reaction: The Residents at the Nursing Home don’t remember my name, or sometimes even the names of the staff, but they always remember Shilo. They love to pat her, feed her and have her lie on their bed.
At the Residential Care Facility the Residents enjoy taking Shilo for walks, playing ball with her, patting her, filling her water bowl, or just watching her.
The staff at both facilities always welcome Shilo and have been very supportive of the program. Smiles are usually the thanks that we love the most, but i was really touched when we received a certificate of appreciation (for contributing to the wellbeing of the Residents at the Nursing Home).
Experiences: Learning which residents think that the dog treats are for them and not for Shilo!
Hearing from the activities co-ordinator at the Nursing Home that a Resident has responded to Shilo when they have not been able to get them involved in other programs or activities.
Having Residents share their stories with us- sometimes the first time they have opened up.
My 96 year old Grandmother lived with us till last year and is now a resident at the Nursing Home where we visit. She may not always recognise me but she knows and loves Shilo. She always asks me to take Shilo around to visit the other Residents so they can enjoy her too.
I highly recommend it. It’s very rewarding. Whenever you give something, you get much more back in return. It’s also very rewarding to help another volunteer and their dog settle in and hear that they love visiting too.
is proud of all our Therapy Dogs. If you and your dog would like to become a Pet Partner visiting team, please read here.
Visit the Delta website.