“I can only hope that our visits gave some joy to them in their final years.”

 Anne &  Molly

Name: Anne Hardacre and Molly

Type of dog: Labrador

Location: Queensland

Visits: Aged care

Volunteering: 2 years

Why: We both enjoy the absolute joy that Molly brings to residents at the nursing home we visit and giving something back to the older community in rural QLD.

Enjoys most: The happiness on the resident’s faces when they see Molly.

Dog enjoys:  She loves the attention, and also cleaning up the crumbs on the floor of the tearooms!

Reaction: The reaction we get is lots of smiles and happiness. All the residents and nursing staff know us well and are always happy to see us.

Experiences: One day we were visiting in one of the large lounge rooms in the nursing home with about 10 or so residents all sitting around in their chairs listening to the television (or asleep!) When Molly and I walked in we were greeted with hellos and smiles, and Molly did the rounds to say hello to everyone. After a while, I decided to liven things up a bit and do some tricks with Molly. So we did some spins and shake paws, much to the delight of the residents. When I decided to leave, I thought I would do some leg weaving with Molly on the way out (just another one of her tricks). So I waved goodbye to the residents and asked Molly to weave between my legs as I walked out of the room. We did about 10 steps (quite a feat!) and after I rewarded Molly for such a great job, I turned around to see the resident’s reactions, and they had all fallen asleep and probably didn’t see any of the trick!!

I was surprised at how sad I was when I received news that a resident we had been visiting for a while had passed away. I know I should expect that this will happen in a nursing home, however, I suppose we all form an attachment to people we visit and talk with over an extended period of time. I have now had several residents’ pass away, and I walk past their rooms with fond memories. I can only hope that our visits gave some joy to them in their final years.

Delta Society Australiais proud of all our Therapy Dogs. If you and your dog would like to become a Pet Partner visiting team, please read here.

Delta rely on donations and bequests to keep our important therapy programs going. If you would like to donate to Delta, please visit donations and bequests.

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