Tracey – Barney’s smile

I recently joined the Calvary Kogarah hospital’s volunteer pet therapy program with our family groodle called ‘Barney’ who only just turned two years of age, so still just a youngster.

Barney starts getting excited when he sees me putting on my blue volunteer top and then pin ‘his’ volunteer badge on to his collar as he knows we are off to visit his friends at Calvary.  Our visits start usually walking down the hospital corridors, and are immediately greeted by the staff who always say, the days the dogs visit are the best days of their week! I think it is all the pats he receives, it’s a hard life being a dog.

We then progress to our visits, saying hi to patients and visitors alike, listening to tales of their own beloved pets and always leaving the ward a happier place. Then off to the gym for more pats – but his highlight for the day is visiting Mary Potter House, our day respite Dementia centre. He just loves it and he never stops wagging his tail, I call this ‘Barney’s smile’

His highlight for the day is visiting Mary Potter House, our day respite Dementia centre. He just loves it and he never stops wagging his tail, I call this ‘Barney’s smile’

He patiently let’s everyone pat and hug his fleece which is soft like a teddy bear and then the fun begins. They throw his ball for him to fetch, generally only 2 metres but when this is done a 100 times a day, boy he gets a bit tired so he retreats and hides in the garden with the ball for a bit of a reprieve, to the enjoyment of the patients who laugh when they see him trying to hide.

What a wonderful way to occupy Barney and such a privilege to make such a difference, socialising with all his new found friends at Calvary.

Tracey Nunziato is a volunteer at Calvary Health Care Kogarah

 

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