Not all dogs are suited to a career as a Guide Dog, but they can still make an impact.
Seven years ago Kelly became a therapy dog and has gone on to change countless lives.
Kelly spends her days at Lady Small Haven Aged Care Facility, bringing joy to residents, receiving back scratches and helping provide comfort to those who are struggling.
“Kelly sits for hours with new residents, helping them with sudden changes in their circumstances,” Delma, a physiotherapist at the centre, said.
“There was one lady who hadn’t been able to sleep for days. Kelly lay on the floor beside the 96-year-old who put her sheet over Kelly and her hand on Kelly’s back. The lady fell into a calm, deep sleep after days of agitation.”
Kelly loves everyone at the centre but her best friend is Bernadette. The pair enjoy walking around the grounds at Lady Small Haven three times a day, visiting other residents on their way.
“Their friendship has given Bernadette such joy and companionship,” Delma said.
Kelly’s impact on the residents at Lady Small Haven is no small thing and it’s difficult to comprehend just how many lives she has touched during her career.
“Kelly has worked four to five days a week at the centre for the past seven years and she sees about 20 residents every day,” Delma said.
While Kelly didn’t grow into a life-changing Guide Dog, she does have the life-changing part down pat.
To find out more about the Pets as Therapy program click here.