DOGS really are ‘man’s best friend’. They’re loyal, intelligent, devoted and affectionate – they are even known to improve our physical and mental health.
The pure joy of spending time with our canine friends is evident on the faces of the residents at Freedom Aged Care at Tanah Merah.
They’ve have had some special and very cute visitors over the last couple of months; rescue animals from the RSPCA shelter in Queensland at Wacol.
On Wednesday, January 10, their day was brightened by a visit from two gorgeous chocolate brown puppies as part of the Happy Paws Happy Hearts initiative.
Happy Paws Happy Hearts was created to positive experiences by connecting people with the joy RSPCA animals can bring.
Each year, tens of thousands of RSPCA animals spend time waiting to be adopted from a centre. While they are waiting to be adopted, they miss having those loving pats and cuddles that dogs love so much.
The key benefit of Happy Paws Happy Hearts is that it provides everyone participating with a strong sense of purpose as well as the known therapeutic benefits of animal interactions.
At the same time, participants get a wonderful sense of accomplishment knowing that their attendance helps animals get adopted faster.
The Happy Paws Happy Hearts sessions encourages the residents to cuddle, pat and play with the animals and reminisce with each other about their past and pets they once owned.
It can help residents with dementia or sight complications through touch and improving their mood, or simply coax someone outside and help them feel more connected to their community Beryl Martin is one of the ladies who enjoyed the sessions and meeting the chocolate puppies.
“Yes they are very nice, I do enjoy them,” said Beryl.
“I have seen dogs like this before. These ones are very cute, they are a lovely colour.”
“I love dogs,” she says.
“I don’t like big dogs just nice small size dogs is what I prefer.”
When the two chocolate coloured puppies turned up they didn’t have names but by the end of session the residents had voted on names for them.
Some suggestions were Mocha and Milo, or Tanah and Merah, but the winning names for the puppies were Lilly and Billy.
On February 7, the residents will be making a special visit by bus out to the RSPCA shelter at Wacol.
There will be an interactive morning with high tea served for the residents at the onsite café, followed by cuddles with a number of pets brought to them in the air-conditioned meeting rooms.
Usually when the RSPCA visits, they can only bring a maximum of two rescue animals, but with the residents going to the shelter they have promised to make more rescue animals available for the residents to cuddle.
Pets are encouraged at Freedom Aged Care, with small animals welcome to stay with residents at most of their communities.
For more information about the Happy Paws Happy Heart initiative visit hphhfoundation.org.