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“Therapet Cassie’s Great Tail of Doggy Devotion”

A playful pooch is showering people at a dementia day care centre with lots of love and affection.

Canine volunteer Cassie visits the Altzheimer Scotland Inverclyde branch with her owner every month.

The 10 year old Jack Russell spends quality time playing catch and cuddling up to her new friends. She is part of a team of dogs trained by Therapet to help combat social isolation and loneliness for those with dementia.

Her visits are making a huge difference to those with the illness, like Janet McBride and her husband Jimmy. Janet, 76 of Greenock said: “I love having Cassie here. We always had dogs. We had two, but can’t have them anymore. I miss them greatly, so it is lovely to see Cassie visit.” The Greenock couple both have

dementia and come to the day care centre.

Janet inset said: “Coming to the centre makes all the difference in the world to us. It gets us away from sitting

watching the tv in our living room. The staff here are amazing and very friendly.”

Around 45 people with moderate to severe dementia access the vital services on the offer every week.

As part of a range of services, Therapet’s volunteer Caroline Joss comes in once a month with Cassie. She said: “I love coming here with the dog. Some of the people want to play ball with her and others like to sit her on their lap and cuddle her. Cassie has a great nature and is so friendly. She is happy just to be here. Dogs bring great comfort to people with dementia who can feel very lonely.”

Service manager Pauline Rankine is delighted to have Therapets on board. She said: “It makes such a huge difference to the people who come here. In some cases it is a great comfort and sometimes it helps people remember things”

Canine Concern Scotland Trust Volunteer Caroline Joss with her Therapet Cassie

This article appeared in the Greenock Telegraph November 3rd 2016

Words: Susan Lochrie

Pictures: George Munro

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