Putting smiles on people’s faces is all in a day’s work for one special East Kilbride pooch.
Therapet JJ, accompanied by his owner John Kerr, pads along every week to Hairmyres Hospital and Abby Lodge Care Home where he brightens up everyone’s day.
The pair are volunteers with Canine Concern Scotland Trust, the charity which runs the canine companionship service.
For the past two years, the loveable border collie cross has been on his rounds in his Therapet coat, lifting the spirits of the elderly patients and care home residents, not to mention the staff, who eagerly await the arrival of their four-legged visitor.
“To see the smiles on people’s faces when JJ arrives is just wonderful, he is such a good friendly dog, they get so much pleasure out of giving him cuddles and patting him” said John.
“It great therapy for them and he just loves all the attention and is always ready to give a paw.
“Some of them used to own dogs and JJ provides the companionship they miss.
“At Hairmyres, some of the patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia instantly recognise JJ and will say “that must mean it’s Tuesday; and that’s really rewarding”
And it’s not just the elderly that JJ weaves his magic with, he is also a popular visitor at schools and indeed universities at exam time when he helps stressed and anxious students at a stroke.
The News caught up with JJ and John on their weekly visit to Abbey Lodge Care Home last week and saw this p-awesome pooch in action.
The residents and staff clearly loved every minute of their time with JJ.
The home’s activity co-ordinator Julie Monaghan said; “He really puts everyone in a good mood.
“John popped in once with JJ to visit a specific resident and I thought, we have to have him in for everyone. They’ve been great.”
As he played with their four-legged visitor, resident Chris McCartan said; “Everyone looks forward to John and JJ coming in.”
Words by Mark Pirie
Article appeared in East Kilbride News 07/10/15