Pooch lapping up love from joyful seniors

What’s better than a visit from a two-legged friend? Cuddles with a four-legged one!

When it comes to putting a smile on the faces of Bundaberg seniors, pet therapy dog Maizy is an expert.

The pooch has been visiting the Carinity Kepnock Grove aged care community once a month, giving cuddles to residents as well as entertaining them by performing a trick or two.

Maizy’s owner Leanne Pearce from Miss Maizy Pet Therapy says the five-year-old Maltese-cross “with a very loving and cheeky nature” is a certified therapy dog, having undergone strict temperament assessments.

Leanne says therapy animals, especially dogs, offer a “comforting presence” for residents of aged care communities.

“Many people who are normally unresponsive to other therapies may ‘brighten up’ and chat with a dog. A visit from a four-legged friend brings joy,” Leanne says.

“The reactions from residents have been incredibly positive. Some reactions are that of elation and excitement, to tears of joy at being able to pet and cuddle a fluffy little dog.”

Carinity Kepnock Grove Residential Manager Jodie Little says pet therapy enhances the wellbeing of residents and often prompts increased social interaction.

“Carinity aged care communities across Queensland use animal-assisted therapy, which has both physical and psychological benefits for our residents,” Jodie says.

“Animals including dogs such as Maizy can help to improve residents’ health and wellbeing and social interaction, with residents often sharing stories about pets they had in their younger years.”

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