Teddy is top dog at care home
She always comes to work with a get- up-and-go attitude. And most importantly for any new employee, Teddy has the perfect mentor to show her the ropes – as a care home dog at Kirkley Manor. Dani Gaston has been bringing three-year-old Lhasa Apso Monty into work with her at the Kingsley Healthcare run home in Kirkley Park Road, Lowestoft, since she started as manager more than a year ago. Now her latest pet, four-month- old Teddy, is ready to follow in Monty’s footsteps having had all her puppy vaccinations.
And the residents were visibly delighted to welcome Teddy, also a Lhasa Apso - even if it made his brother a tiny bit jealous. Ms. Gaston said: “It can be a real wrench for people used to pets all their life when the time comes for them to move into care and they are deprived of their canine companion- ship. It creates a real sense of home if there are dogs around. “Residents are able to interact with them and stroke them, which works well for people living with dementia who are able to reminisce about pets that they have had.”
She said Monty had made a tremendous impact in the home - people were calmer when he was around and he loved all the fuss. “Residents even save up their biscuits to give to him,” she said. She said Monty had undergone basic training with the Headway charity under its Brainy Dogs scheme. Recent research has shown the benefit of having pets in care homes. And for people living with dementia, dogs can have a calming and comforting effect and their presence can help them remember happy times during their life when they perhaps had pets of their own.