Each week, in her busy schedule, Lady the therapy dog and her owner Glenn Patterson make their rounds to various facilities in Saskatchewan’s southwest, spreading cheer wherever they go. Her schedule includes visits to the long-term care facilities Tatagwa View and Weyburn Special Care Home, as well as a private long-term care facility.
“I like to see the smiles on the residents’ faces and hear the stories about their dogs and what kind they had,” Patterson states. “And Lady loves to get petted.”
Lady’s therapy dog career began after Glenn’s mother moved into Tatagwa View long-term care facility in Weyburn. After a few years of ‘winging’ it on her visits to facilities, Lady was enrolled in the St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog course. As part of her training, to assess how she would react, Lady, a Rough Collie, was exposed to various loud noises and people using walkers and wheelchairs. With her gentle, calm nature, Lady proved to be a ‘natural’ and passed the first time.
Lady is just one of many canine companions that provide healing and comfort for patients, clients, residents and their families across the Saskatchewan Health Authority. As well as providing joy to the residents who pet her, Lady has also inspired residents to tell stories of pets they once had.
Although Lady is approaching eight years old, the plan is for her to continue her visits, bringing joy to all she meets, one wet nose and wag of the tail at a time.