Therapy dog Jack lends a paw to nursing home residents

September 4, 2016

IT’S not often we imagine angels with four paws and a wagging tail, but Jack, the eight-year-old cocker spaniel, is a miracle worker of a different kind.

For seven years, Kim Bow has brought her furry friend to Maranatha Lodge, Batehaven, where she works as a recreational activities officer.

After spotting an ad in the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner and some persuading from residents at the nursing home, Kim adopted the then-12-month-old cocker from the Moruya pound.

“As soon as they (the residents) saw him, they said ‘You have to get him!’,” Kim said.

“I had just lost my other dog and the residents prompted me to get him.”

Originally known as “Jacques”, it wasn’t long before residents had coincidentally picked the name “Jack” to call their new friend by.

At first, Jack was put to work three days a week, but after a positive response from residents, Kim moved him into a full-time therapy dog role.

She said residents had greatly benefited from his presence.

“The residents love him. Even our dementia residents know who he is and remember his name. It’s quite incredible,” she said.

“It makes people so happy … they class him as their pet. It’s very therapeutic having an animal around.”

Like many Maranatha residents, Margaret McKenzie has formed a special bond with Jack.

“He’s my pal. It just makes me feel happy,” Margaret said.



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