A GOLDEN retriever is making people paws for thought when it comes to the stigma of depression and stress.
Two-year-old Monty is helping an Elderslie care home throw a leash around patients’ stress and anxiety issues by working as a Therapet.
But the pooch’s heartwarming tale doesn’t end there, as he has just been given a special certificate of recognition for his calming influence on people in care.
And he will soon get to experience the student life after being cherry-picked to take part in a programme designed to help people at university feel less stressed about their exams.
His owners, local Councillor Derek Bibby and his wife Susan, are now urging Renfrewshire dog owners to join a scheme which gives their pets the opportunity to help people suffering from stress, illness, or those who have special needs.
Mrs Bibby told The Gazette: “Monty and I have been visiting both the Cherrywood Centre in Elderslie for over a year and also in the last few months at the Mosswood Centre in Linwood.
“His visits are eagerly anticipated and he is regarded as such an affectionate and friendly dog. The residents and staff at the centre are delighted with his award.
“I am indebted to Stacy Thomson, from the Pet Shop in Johnstone, for spotting Monty’s potential early and for encouraging me to sign up for the scheme.”
Monty was nominated for his outstanding work for the award of Therapet of the Year by staff and residents from the Cherrywood Centre in Elderslie, and was one of nine dogs from all over Scotland who attended the National awards ceremony hosted by Canine Concern Scotland in Edinburgh.
Therapet dogs can make a huge difference to people who are suffering or recovering from illness or those who have communication difficulties.
And it is clear Monty’s calm and reassuring presence has brought about these benefits to the patients in each of the local centres, which was long noted by staff before the canine received his award.
Monty will also soon be attending the West of Scotland University in a programme entitled Paws for Stress which is designed to help students with exam anxiety.
Councillor Bibby also commented: “The use of dogs as Therapets is growing across Scotland, in hospitals, hospices and care homes.
“As well as helping people in these settings, it is a rewarding experience for the owners.
“Monty enjoys his visits as much as the people he is visiting. I would encourage dog owners to consider looking into the scheme with a view to joining.”
Further information can be obtained by contacting Canine Concern Scotland Trust by phoning 0131 553 0034 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture Caption:- RETRIEVING HIS AWARD: Monty with Mr and Mrs Bibby.
First Published in Renfrewshire Gazette Dec 2014