happens in a dementia ill patient, who cannot remember what he ate for
supper two hours ago? But what happens in him if he suddenly recognizes
the three Cattle dogs and Bonnie, entering the room? There is no doubt
that dogs can activate and stimulate brains which have already sunk into
forgetfulness. They do not only bring back joy into their life but also
the remembrance to their own dogs in olden times. They are talking and
BEAMER (14), ROWDY (9) and DOLLY (4) are entertaining the residents with
obedience, tricks and socializing with them. People are just happy with
this sort of entertainment. My own mom, who lives there after a stroke,
tends to stay in her room but when the dogs come, she comes out in her
wheelchair. She loves to show them off.
Its so difficult
to leave and normally I visit for an hour or two but usually its end up
being longer because the residents just thrive on seeing the dogs. Its
quite rewarding and my dogs are very much at home there and tend to watch
everyone that moves or that comes in or out. On one occasion, one of the
residents was sleeping in her wheelchair and snoring really loud and Rowdy
was quite concerned. He went over, just sat there and stared up at her.
After, few minutes he slightly touched her knee with his nose, while he
was lying down next to her. She woke up and she had a smile on her face.
A physician, while visiting his family there, watched and he said: most
likely Rowdy was concerned with her breathing.
I find that
the residents do speak between themselves and talk about how well behaved
and how trained my dogs are and how they do everything that I tell them
to do. Many tell me how they had dogs or cats before they became residents
I find most of the patients like to pet them and a few want to literally
mug them. Dolly is the one that likes to be cuddled. Rowdy and Beamer
are the typical ACD’s petting but not cuddle type.
Physicians think, that dogs around elderly patients are a valuable therapy.
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