4 August 2022
The wonder of pets – our Hallmark fluffy friends
Dogs are simply amazing, and one of their best qualities is their ability to love unconditionally and without judgement, but did you know that dogs, and pets in general, can be good for you?
Part of our furry friend’s brilliance is their ability to predict what’s going on with us and act accordingly. If they know we’re sad or unwell, they’ll sit quietly beside us giving comfort. If they sense a hug, well, get ready for one.
There is compelling evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that interacting with dogs can be beneficial to the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of all human beings. They can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate and encourage social interaction.
The Alzheimer’s Society has discussed the positive impact that dogs can have on people living with dementia and how they can help to improve their quality of life. Dogs bring friendship and fun and, for people living with dementia, can help to prevent feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as reduce irritability, agitation and loneliness. Spending time with dogs has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve social interaction and sleep patterns.
Because of the overwhelming evidence that pets are good for our health, we’re happy to welcome pets into our homes to accompany residents as live-in fluffy companions and we’re pleased to have two wonderful dogs at Hutton View, our care home in Brentwood.
Many Hallmark care homes also have a dog that accompanies a member of the team to work, helping to provide companionship, build relationships and brighten up everyone’s day.
Here are the dogs’ stories:
I’m Ted. I am the Love and Affection Manager at Ty Enfys. it won’t be wrong if I say I am the most popular team member at Ty Enfys Care Home. Everybody knows my name and greets me when they see me. Even the manager does not get the same honour as I do. Below is my picture as a puppy.
My human mother, who I adore, has taught me many things. I am quite the whiz kid and can sit, stand, lie down and spin provided I get a sausage! Sausages are my weakness and if you have one, I will be your best friend. I can also sing when my favourite friend plays the violin. Nobody knew I had this talent until it was recorded.
I am fascinated by humans and love the joy I bring them. My day at Ty Enfys starts by going for the morning rounds, checking the communities, meeting and greeting the team, residents, visitors and any professionals. I am some of the resident’s favourite team member and they keep treats for me, usually from their breakfast. I used to be very good at sneaking into the dining room where my friends would feed me under the table. I was getting fatter and fatter. Sometimes the nurses do put me on the scales. I have been restricted and am not allowed to go into the dining room but I have made some faithful friends who save me the sausages in their handbags!
I work at Admiral Court with Sarah the Lifestyles Lead and I have a sense of adventure! I’m a Maltese Terrier and most of the time they’re generally known to like to sit with people, have their tummies tickled and their hair brushed whilst watching the telly (sort of why I got the job). I do like that but I also have my own passport and like to travel and try new things. (I also have my own caravan but that’s another story). I send postcards to all the residents when I’m abroad and show them my photographs when I return.
I go into Admiral Court each day on a mission to make someone smile. I’ve been told that I have a great smile too. Sometimes some people are sad and I ask to sit by their chair and lean against their knee or they might pat the bed. If no one minds I jump up and lay down quietly. I usually get a little pat on the head, I might have 40 winks with them.
I know I have helped lots of people go into the garden – I’m good at that. One time I helped residents go on a big sponsored walk for dementia and another time I did the race for life with my good friends Flo and Pat, we were in the paper for raising awareness.
Hi, my name is Molly. I am seven years old and I live at Hutton View with my mum Daphne. I was born in Ingatestone and I am a dark brown, almost black Shiatzu. I love living at Hutton View because I get to meet so many new people, ALL the time.
My usual day starts with a walk in the garden with my mum and my auntie Queenie. I love my auntie Queenie as she always looks after me if my mum has to go out without me. Queenie always feeds me nice food from the kitchen (the Chefs cook a lovely chicken). Queenie cuts it up small for me, so it is easy for me to eat from her hand.
After my morning walk, we sit in the café and have a drink. Sometimes I get a piece of the morning pastries. I try not to make a mess on the floor, but sometimes it just happens and I don’t feel like eating all the crumbs. We have very lovely ladies who come to my home to do my mum’s hair and nails. I get to go into the salon and sit quietly on my mum’s lap whilst she has this weird-smelling beauty treatment done.
Every month my big brother comes and collects me and takes me to a special doggy beauty parlour where I have my hair cut and my nails trimmed. When I’m all finished, I get a special yellow bow. I get to show off my new look when I get home.
I am very lucky because there is always someone from the team to take me out for a walk. I love the garden here and have helped many times when my mum has been gardening. I love the garden here as it is so big and there are lots of interesting things to see and interesting smells. There is another lady here called Barbara, who on a Sunday takes me out with her friend for a long walk. I really enjoy this and when I see Barbara’s friend, I rush up to see her as I am so excited. I know I’m going to get a really long walk. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so lucky I get taken out for walks, but I love my mum and sending time with her. When I get back home, I can’t help but run, run, run on the spot until I get to her.
I like to guard the home when someone new comes through the door at reception. Sometimes I bark at them, but that’s only because I’m protecting my mum and our new home. Sometimes we have other dogs visit the home, which is nice, and I go and meet and greet them, but I let them know that this is my home and they have to behave.
One of my favourite humans here is Keith the gardener. Keith smells of walks outside and he always gives me a treat when he sees me. I have seen so many great things at Hutton View, I enjoy watching lots of singing and entertainment. I also love it when the school students visit. They give me lots of cuddles. I’m very lucky that I am not alone at Hutton View, there are so many amazing people here. I even have a dog friend called Charlie.
I am a beige border terrier and my mum was very lucky to get me for free. I get to meet so many new people at Hutton View, like my friend Molly, another dog who also lives here with me. When my mum and I first came to Hutton View, we had a lovely room, but soon after my mum moved into what they called a ‘suite.’ I’m not sure what this means, but it’s bigger!
The best thing is that the garden outside is HUGE! I have loads of room for my bed and my eating mat. Everyone at Hutton View is really nice to me, even though I am getting a little deaf and am sometimes slow when I walk, I still get plenty of cuddles and lots of attention. Callum on reception takes me out for a walk sometimes, I get so excited to see him that I run.
I love to eat dog food, which my older brother brings in for me. Sometimes my mum gets some leftovers from lunch so I get an extra special treat. My favourite is when it’s leftover Mince.
I love watching the world go by from the Café. I have to be careful though because I’m quiet, like a mouse when walking, I often sneak up behind Lu on lifestyles and end up frightening her. When my mum goes to the cinema, I get to come too. I love it when we watch films about dogs like ‘The Incredible Journey’. The other week we had a singer and he let me stand next to him which I thought was really nice, I felt like I was part of a band. He also showed me his blue guitar after. Maybe I’ll become a rock and roller.
I’m always out and about with my mum, we do lots of activities together. The other day we helped with the garden. I think I was mistaken for the flowers because I was accidentally watered. When my mum and I first moved in another dog Molly was living here, she wasn’t too keen on me to start with. I’m happy to say we are now the best of friends. We always say hello to one another and have even shared treats on the odd occasion. I really enjoy living at Hutton View, there is always something going on and the highlight is when we have new dogs visit.
Hello I am Archie. I’m a Cavapoo (King Charles Spaniel and Poodle). My mum is Karen, the General Manager at Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff. I turn one on August 13th 2022 and I am looking forward to my first birthday party at Shire Hall.
I come to work with mum every day and have a lovely bed in the office with my mum and auntie Hannah, the Deputy Manage. Hannah is my substitute mum who I stay with when mum goes away.
I am very busy at times helping the Lifestyles Team, Sheila, Cathy and Sonia water the gardens every morning. They do splash me sometimes. The residents love watching me play ball and racing around the gardens. I love checking the residents in the coffee shop. Sometimes, I get treats and I meet other furry friends that come to visit. I have a little nap in the day and sometimes mum and Hannah are so busy, they forget I have to go out but I have a bell that I ring to remind them.
I love seeing the residents and some have treat jars especially for me in their rooms. Lynn, the Administrator gives me treats without mum knowing, although Jonathan, the Customer Relationship Manager keeps me in check.
I have lots of friends in the home like Fred, the Hospitality Service Manager and Geraint, the Head Housekeeper. Luckily, I don’t moult and I am hypoallergenic, so the Housekeeping Team love me. The Kitchen Team smells fantastic and they give me extra special treats like chicken and sausages. I love Alex, the Lead Nurse. She plays ball with me on my breaks along with Suzy, Jayne and Danni on reception and all the other team members on days and nights. I love my days at Shire Hall.