Karen tells us about the rewards of volunteering…
‘I started visiting PB with my dog Alfie (standard poodle) in June 2018, the idea being that PB is able to go dog walking as he used to with his now deceased dog. He misses having his own dog, but Alfie helps to fill that void on a Saturday morning. PB waits at his window, a big smile erupting on his face when he sees that we have arrived…’
On our walk we talk about many things and meet many other dog walkers whom he loves to stop and chat to, as well as coax their dogs. I notice a marked improvement in his mood during the visit and am able to ascertain, to some degree, how he has been during the week and whether he has any particular needs. If so, I report back to OSF who can, if necessary, report to a family member (do not live locally). As well as taking various walks around the village, we have also visited Nowton Park and The Heath in Bury St Edmunds throughout the summer. On many of these walks it triggers memories for him.
During the last month I have occasionally taken him to some local coffee mornings where he meets a group of like-minded men, whilst I am there with a group of local ladies. Tickety Boo, Thurston, did allow PB to have Alfie with him as a therapy dog, for which we were very grateful. PB seems to thoroughly enjoy these outings, which enables male, as well as female, social interaction.
As well as enabling PB exercise and social interaction on a regular basis, we are able to collect his medication, if needed, and also purchase food items that he has run out of, or would like. (His main meals are kept in his freezer for easy access.)
Alfie and I enjoy our visits to PB and genuinely feel that he benefits in many ways from our visits.