I have a good friend who has a Jack Russel named Sparky, he is what you call a Therapet.

He takes him round the local hospitals and nursing home to visit the elderly who are nearing the end of their life.

My wee Mum was in a local hospital for 3 yrs before she passed away on 28th dec 14

And looked forward th Sparkys visit every week.

If you saw the effect he had on the elderly it would bring tears to your eyes. They may not have had any visitors or spoken to anyone for days until Sparky appeared and their faces would like up like a beam of light.

One lady could remember his name etc even tho she had problems with memory etc.

I have a picture of mum smiling with Sparky on her bed 2 wks before her passing.

I keep it as a screensaver so that I see her every time I open my phone or iPad.

I wish other hospitals were more relaxed with rules etc and could see how therapeutic small things can make such a difference.

Love to all ❤️❤️❤️❤️

16 Replies

  • Sorry Grammer not good today 🌷🌷

  • Aw that's a beautiful thing to do some of the visitors to the nursing homes I worked in brought pets in and the effect on the patients was brilliant, for some of them it was the only time they smiled some of them never got visitors due to family living abroad or just not visiting xx

  • I agree, my Uncle is in a nursing home, the only spark of recognition is when he has time with the dogs that belong to the owner there were more than a few tears when I witnessed this. xx

  • Hi, I used to go dog training and compete in obedience competitions and one of my dogs, Poppy a golden retriever, I trained to be a Pat Dog and used to take her to the local residential homes and she was very loved.

  • We have several here in states that do have that! A lot of nursing homes have pets! It does make a big difference!

  • Hi Jan,

    I so understand as I used to take my last Jack Russell to visit an old peoples home where an old friend was sadly living out her last days, I also had Mr Benjamin with me too, he had been my friends dog and I inherited him. it started because having had a stroke Anne remembered very little, but when Gertie and Mr Benjamin were with her she became a completely different person. All the other residents were equally enamoured with the doglets and I must say I didn't miss one day in nearly nine months, because I knew if I was in Anne's position I would want to have my dog every day. Mr B would still be ideal to take to visit people and I would gladly do it if I was up to it, Poppie however wouldn't be able to stay still long enough bless her, bounce bounce bounce......

    I really agree with you Jan that it would be really good if hospitals could relax the rules in some instances, I mean it might not be a great idea to take a dog onto a surgical ward, but for stroke patients, palliative care and those catering for the elderly I think the benefits would far outweigh the risks. I know of some hospices which encourage dogs to come in as they see how much it can cheer people up.😀😀

    Foggy x

  • Ah. yes,

    Brought back so many fabulous memories. Many years ago I worked in nursing home and on a weekly basis there were a few pets that came in to brighten up some of our residents days and they sure did. Beautiful smiling faces reaching out to touch the various pets, It was incrediable to watch, would bring a tear to so many staff's eyes to see the glint in the residents face, esp those who didn't respond well. When the pet waked in It was a different story. :) xxxxxx

  • Thank you so much for posting the story on Sparky it is wonderful to read such a positive post. My last dog was a bit of a miracle worker, unfortunately rather too bouncy and licky to be a Pat dog but she certainly made people smile.

    We were on holiday once and she loved to go into the sea and gather stones and drag them back to shore and then we used to sit leaning against one another having our food together. I can remember coming back with dripping dog to the motorcaravan and a lady who was in the next car with her husband asking if I would kindly take Brandy over to him to stroke. I said she was rather wet and would dry her off first but she said no it was fine. She straight away went up and put her paws gently on his knee and licked his face and he started laughing. I turned to his wife to say something and realised that there were tears streaming down her face. I went to comfort her and she said they were tears of joy as her husband had watched Brandy and myself all afternoon and had smiled, the first time since his stroke and has also laughed and said doggy and that was the first sound he had made as well. We were both fighting back tears in the end.

    She also went straight over to a very badly disabled child with her toy and placed it in the childs hand and gently started tugging it to have a little game. She then went and picked up sticks and took them over. He quite roughly embraced her but she just licked him causing much laughter and bounced around wagging her tail and quickly bringing anything to him that she could get her mouth around. In the end he was surrounded by stones and sticks and toys. His Dad was entranced as he said that normally dogs were frightened of his son and it had made his day watching the interaction between his son and my dog. I think some dogs just have that special magic don;t they.

    I am sure that Sparky brightened everyones world.x


  • Meant to say that the lady next door has dementia and her husband bought her a little Yorkie and the difference in her is astounding. She tries to connect and I just talk as though she understands everything and she always starts laughing and smiling if I tell her tales about what my brother in laws cat gets up to and what I have seen the birds doing or seeing a ferret in the garden whereas if you speak of other things she shows no emotion at all.x

  • That is such a beautiful story, and I would like to genuinely and sincerely thank you for sharing it with us all. It is genuinely appreciated and I would like to sincerely wish you all the best of luck.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous stories about Brandy, he sounded like a wonderful pet. I really feel that animals have a special bond with humans esp. Kids and people who are ill or infirm. They just instinctively know that their presence has a positive affect on them.

    People underestimate just how powerful their unconditional love can be, and how it can bring joy and happiness to those folk less fortunate than ourselves.

    Loved hearing from you my friend

    Thanks Jan😺😻🐈🐶🐶


    I thought some of you would like to read!

    Cooks children hospital is one of the best in U.S. I just wanted to show you how much pets mean!

  • thank you regnofibro1,

    that clip was lovely x

  • Thank you for the link. It was wonderful to watch🐶🐶🐶🐶

  • what a heart warming post. thank you jan x

    rosewine, you brought alump to my throat, what a heart warming story too x

    way back in 1991 my twin sister and I travelled to Battersea dogs & cats home in London. we looked around all the kennels and my sister asked who had been here the longest. amber was pointed out so we took her for a walk. she began to bounce and her character shone out of her so my sister took her home

    amber was a retriever x GSD maybe? with a gentle and calm nature. my sister had worked in an elderly care home for many years and amber became a PAT dog and went to work with my twin every day. amber loved all the strking and cuddles and the sneakily given rich tea biccies given to her. amber worked alongside my sis for many years until my twins passing in 2004. we retired amber as she was coming to retirement age herself.

    it was wonderful to see the residents faces light up. and a lady called gertie adored her so much she asked to see her hours before her passing.

    dogs are amazing creatures.

    thank you dear ole amber,you'll never be forgotten xxx

  • Awe that is such a beautiful story about Amber and how Gertie asked for her. Thank you for sharing. The response I've had has been immense, and gives me so much joy to share with animal lovers 🐶🐶🐶😺😻😼

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