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Do YOU own a friendly, outgoing, though not too boisterous dog who loves to have a fuss made of him? Then perhaps you might like to think about registering him in our THERAPET visiting service. You haven't heard of it? Let me tell you about it...

For some years now it has been recognised, more and more, that pets are good for us! Indeed, it has been scientifically proven that the mere action of stroking a dog, or cat, slows down the heartbeat, reduces blood pressure, and makes someone who has already suffered a heart attack much less likely to have another.

Through no fault of their own, many people find themselves deprived of companionship of a much loved dog. It may be that they have had to go into sheltered housing, residential accommodation, a long-stay geriatric ward; perhaps they are simply no longer able to care properly for a pet. The same applies to adults and children who have a physical disability or learning difficulty and those suffering a terminal illness.

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THERAPETS come in all breeds, cross-breeds, or 57-variety mongrels! They can be small, medium or large! The only real vital statistic is a steady and happy temperament. The dogs are approved for temperament and general suitability before being accepted and are not considered until at least one year old. We also have some lovely feline visitors!

Volunteer owners must become actual members of CANINE CONCERN SCOTLAND TRUST - mainly so that we can be sure of insurance cover - although, happily, so far we only know of only one very minor incident - a happy dog's tail sweeping a vase from a low table!

Volunteers must be willing to make a regular commitment to visit, it need not be very often - once a fortnight, once a month or whenever - but the visits must be regular because 

the residents and patients look forward to them so much and are disappointed if they suddenly cease.

More than anything else, we need MORE VOLUNTEERS! The service has proved so popular that the demand has overtaken the supply. So, if you think this might be for you - or more importantly, for your dog or cat - please do contact us for more details and perhaps an application form to register your pet.

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Sometimes small miracles occur - people who have never spoken, turned their faces to the wall in fact - magically come to life at the appearance of a dog in their ward! This to the surprise and delight of the nursing staff; in many cases the dogs and owners provide some light relief for them, too. Sadly, it has to be said that for some of the residents or patients the THERAPETS are their only visitors. We like to encourage them to regard the doggy visitor as their very own. There is no charge for this service which is organised and carried out entirely by volunteers. We fundraise in various ways to keep it active.

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