“As for the staff, most of them have a photo of Chausette on their mobile phones, that speaks for itself.”
Name: Nicole and Chausette
Type of dog: Newfoundland
Location: New South Wales
Visits: Aged care
Volunteering: 6 months
Why: Chausette is a gorgeous gentle giant (Newfoundland), loves people and from working at the Children’s Hospital, I loved seeing the benefits of pets as therapy.
Enjoys most: The sheer joy of the residents when they see Chausette. It may just be a few minutes but she lights up their day.
Dog enjoys: She adores the attention and most of the residents are animal lovers, she picks up on this. She’s just a big, adorable girl who gets so much out of life and gives so much back.
Reaction: The reaction is overwhelmingly positive. So many of the residents constantly say “thank you”, that’s not what it’ss about but Chausette obviously brings so much joy. The residents may be sitting in the activity room, one of them will spot Chausette and its hands outstretched, feet tapping and smiles galore. As for the staff, most of them have a photo of Chausette on their mobile phones, that speaks for itself.
Experiences: Jenny rarely leaves her room, however, one day she was determined to make a trip via wheelchair and helper to the coffee shop within the complex but was unsure of the task ahead. I asked if she’d like a chauffeur. Chausette walked at Jenny’s side and matched the wheelchair spin for spin with her walk directly at her side, she did not miss a beat and walked perfectly in tune with the chair. We arrived at the coffee shop, full of people and Jenny was as proud as punch with “her dog” by her side. It was like Christmas Day for Jenny.
Daphne just lights up when we walk into her room. Chausette is also known as Zette but Daphne always calls her Yeti and Yeti it will always be.
Louis recently had a stroke. The first time he smiled thereafter was when the Diversional Therapist outstretched his hand to pat Chausette – priceless. We get a smile from him each visit now.
Gladys loves animals. She’s always stationary but on a recent visit she walked, with some help, so she could have an extra pat of Chausette. She usually saves a little morning tea for Chausette, what a treat.
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