30
November
2018
|
00:10
Australia/Melbourne

Just what the ‘dogtor’ ordered

Pet Therapy is brightening the lives of residents at Bupa Aged Care Bexley. Read about the powerful impact Hugo the greyhound is having on senior residents. 

Hugo, led by Delta Society Australia volunteer David Doig, is dedicated to regularly visiting the elderly for a cuddle and a pat.

Mr Doig and his therapy dogs have been coming to the home for about six months and are a welcomed distraction for all.

“The visits are just as emotionally beneficial for the residents, staff and families spending time with their loved ones as they are for the dogs and I,” Mr Doig said.

Greyhounds must wear a muzzle by law but Hugo passed the Greenhound test on his first go, which means he doesn’t need to wear a muzzle anymore.

“I was asked if we could visit more often because it’s smiles all round when Hugo, Ralf or Lucy arrive,” Mr Doig said.

“The residents don’t really have to bend down too far to pat him and like most greyhounds, Hugo is no lap dog so there are no worries about him jumping on people,” Mr Doig said.

Bupa Bexley Recreational Activities Officer, Sophia Zaharopoulos said the four legged friends have given the residents another reason to smile.

Any built up tension the residents may have, especially those living with dementia is quickly dissolved once they see Hugo or one of his furry siblings. You don’t realise how much of an impact animal therapy has on the residents until the dog has left.
Bupa Bexley Recreational Activities Officer, Sophia Zaharopoulos.

“The residents absolutely love when the dogs come into the home as they’re able to reminisce about pets that they used to have when they were younger and more independent, this is such a pleasant memory for them to relive,” Ms Zaharopoulos said.

“I think what makes these visits so special is the freedom that residents have in being able to generously give as many pats and hugs as they like. Some people rarely get visitors and the love given by the dogs is both pure, unconditional and organic,” she said.

“I think what makes these visits so special is the freedom that residents have in being able to generously give as many pats and hugs as they like. Some people rarely get visitors and the love given by the dogs is both pure, unconditional and organic,” she said.

WATCH the video here: