Skip to main content
In order to provide complete functionality, this web site needs your explicit consent to store browser cookies. If you don't allow cookies, you may not be able to use certain features of the web site. It is recommended that you allow all cookies.

Case studies

Two neighbours, both widows, living independently, were mourning the loss of a shared dog. Our Special Friends gave initial support in their grieving and gave them advice on sourcing a new pet. When it transpired that the women had inadvertently selected a dog with significant health issues, we negotiated veterinary care for the animal from the rescue centre it had come from. We then encouraged the ladies to use their own vet for vaccinations and worming and provided a donation to cover the cost. We are in regular contact with the ladies who are very happy with their new pet and benefiting from the companionship he provides.

A woman in her mid-70s had relied on her dog while caring for her late husband. Soon after his death, she too was diagnosed with a terminal illness. We assessed her needs, then stayed in regular social contact to monitor both her well-being and that of her dog. As her illness progressed, we arranged help with dog-walking, which we increased as it became necessary and gave her peace of mind by documenting her wishes for the dog following her death. At the end of her life, she was admitted to a hospice and her family took the dog to visit her. The increased social contact experienced by the dog during her illness enabled it to subsequently be rehomed within the family.

We were asked to help the respite carer of a 93-year old woman with advanced dementia by providing an additional activity for both of them. We initiated visits from an Our Special Friends volunteer with her dog, Maisie. The visits have been very well received by the client, her family, her carers and the care provider and have continued for two years. Feedback from the carer is that Maisie's visits 'bring her (the client) to life'. Through our interaction with other health-based organisations, a domestic help was also introduced to the client and, overall, our involvement has led to increased collaboration with the care services provided. It has also led to increased social interaction for both the client and the carer.