Our path to working with OSF began when I was walking my three dogs when I started chatting to a lady who had been working for the charity. She told me how welcoming the organisation was – how right she was.
We were interviewed quite rigorously, but politely, to ensure neither of us is an ankle biter! Following the DBS check I attended my first training session on the politics and ethics of OSF. Further training involved First Aid (human) and separately Canine. Both were informative and useful. At other times I try go to meetings where other volunteers and I can share our experiences, plus a cup of tea and cake.
We were introduced to our first client, J who had broken her leg in July 2019 and is bed bound apart from hospital visits for check-ups. So she is quite isolated during the day as her daughter works as a carer and only has her Tav as company except when her carers arrive. After a couple of weeks of visiting Ziggy is eager to get into the house and see J. He sits on her bed with her, gets stroked and sometimes she’ll throw little treats for him. He’s quite bold with her now, but still a gentle boy. We chat about news, family, her previous Shelties and do a crossword, plus I’ll make her a cup of tea. Time flies.
Ziggy and I met our next clients recently and he settled easily into their sitting room. He enjoyed being stroked and getting treats and, like J, they’ll be getting his attention once a week.
In both cases it is heart-warming to hear their stories and experiences, spoken with stoicism.
I’m very grateful to OSF for giving me the opportunity to work with them – it’s a terrific charity run by dedicated and skilful staff.