Noah’s Ark’s care team will soon be joined by a new volunteer – of the four-legged variety.
Eight-year-old Chocolate Poodle Dyson will be coming along to Noah’s Ark activities giving children, who may not be able to look after a pet of their own, the chance to have a stroke and enjoy his company for the day.
Dyson was formally registered with the charity Pets As Therapy (PAT) as a PAT dog in May. But as his owner Manda Skitt explained, Dyson had already been a familiar face at the Hadley Lawns care home, Barnet.
“My mother-in-law moved to the home in 2013 and Dyson was a regular visitor on his daily walks with myself or my husband. We, and he, thoroughly enjoyed these visits. The benefit and joy that contact with Dyson brought to the residents was so clear to see that I decided to officially register him as a PAT dog.”
As a Barnet resident Manda was aware of Noah’s Ark’s work – plus here employer Lloyds Banking group’s Cockfosters office fundraises for us.
“I have also been watching with interest the plans to build a new hospice and it seemed a perfect opportunity to offer the services of Dyson as a PAT dog,” she said.
“I have seen first-hand the joy and comfort that a visit from an animal can provide. Just to stroke him (which he loves) brings a peace, calm and welcome distraction, or to have him lying at your feet provides reassurance and contentment.
“He is never happier than when he is in the company of adults and children alike and is the best friend that anyone could hope for!”
Noah’s Ark Specialist Play Worker Vikki Kempster said: “Dyson has a really nice nature; he always spreads a smile.
“Many of the families we support don’t have the time to look after a dog of their own. By coming along to our events, and visiting the new hospice once built, Dyson will make a great addition to our team!”
Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983. It aims to enhance health and wellbeing in the community through visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and other venues by its trusted volunteers with their behaviourally-assessed pets.