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Delight at Dog Visits by Therapaws

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Therapaws Harley and Oscar

TheraPaws Shelley and Flora

TheraPaws is a community initiative delivered by The Mayhew Animal Home. Volunteers take their assessed dogs into a range of care centres to engage with people, provide company and brighten up their day.

The Hospice has been visited once a week by Therapaws for the last 2 years. Our regular volunteers are Zoe and Claire one week, who bring Flora the pug (pictured above), and then Janice with Harley and Oscar (pictured above) the next week.

This interaction has many benefits for our patients, including:

-       Social interaction and companionship, reducing isolation.

-       Emotional and physical well-being including stress reduction and lowering of blood pressure.

-       Unlocking memories and emotions, especially for those suffering with dementia.

Our Volunteer Coordinator, Shelley said: ‘A visit from TheraPaws can make a patient’s day. Seeing and playing with the animal takes the patients’ minds off their situation, even if it’s just for a minute. One example is a patient was asking for painkillers but when the dogs arrived they started playing and soon forgot about the pain. The dogs transport patient’s minds to a different place and help them forget for a while. Many patients look forward to the visit from TheraPaws and are always asking me when the next visit is. To see the difference a few minutes with a dog makes is unbelievable. Patients are so sad when the time is up and they have to say goodbye.’

We are very grateful to the dedicated team of volunteers and their dogs from Therapaws for their visits, which they provide free of charge. Volunteers from Therapaws also recently helped out at our Paddington Christmas Fayre, roaming the grounds offering ‘pug hugs’ in exchange for donations.

Click here for more information about volunteering, or get in touch with Shelley on 020 7806 4049 or by email.

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