I own a little Shih Tzu dog called Dora. She is now 2 ½ years old and a very calm loving dog. I knew very quickly as a puppy that she was very good at bringing happiness to others, especially me. I saw a feature about Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs and so looked at the criteria and Dora seemed to meet them all. So, I put in an application and she was assessed and approved to be a PAT dog. A few months later and we were all set to begin volunteering.
I have a very disabled 15-year-old niece, Beth, who visits the children’s hospice Tŷ Hafan regularly and so it was a natural choice to offer our services as a PAT dog and volunteer to Tŷ Hafan. We visit for an hour about every two weeks and both Dora and I very much enjoy visiting the children at Tŷ Hafan.
Dora is very calm, but responsive with the sick and disabled children and also very calm for the well siblings who love to hold her and brush her and dress her up. It is always a pleasure. Sometimes there may only be one child around and other times there may be 6-8 children. It doesn’t matter to us how many children we are able to meet with, we just love any opportunity to make even one child smile.
I jump at any opportunity to take Dora to other places, as I know she enjoys the fuss and attention that she receives and also makes people smile, even when not in her PAT uniform, but a real highlight is visiting the children at Tŷ Hafan.
Thank you for the opportunity, Tŷ Hafan.
Love from Lisa and Dora xxx