Poppy and Friday Canine Therapy

Recently, our patients in Jay and Lyon wards were visited by the newest members of our volunteer service at Calvary Wakefield Hospital – Friday, a highly trained Labrador and Poppy, her volunteer handler.

There is a great deal of evidence that pets promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional and cognitive functioning. Calvary are always open to ways to improve our patients’ experience whilst they are with us and we are delighted to be able to provide this service.

It is always a lot of work getting a new program underway, but it was agreed that it was worth every minute when we saw our patients, staff and visitors reaction to Friday. Patients in both wards were delighted to receive a visit; in fact several patients came out of their room a number of times to make sure that they were going to be visited and weren’t going to be left out. Others sent nursing staff to let us know that they wanted to meet the dog. The delight on their faces was lovely to see. They were animated and engaged, telling Poppy all about dogs that had been part of their lives, including one patient who had a  history of training police dogs.

The staff were all delighted with Friday’s visit. It was wonderful to see how the mood lifted wherever she was. Smiling chatty staff is always a good thing but progress around the hospital was very slow as everyone who crossed paths with her stopped to say hello! Friday clearly loved all the ‘pop star’ attention she received. She was hugged and told how beautiful she was over and over – not a bad way to spend a morning!

One of our patients, Annalieze, decided she no longer wanted to go home as she wanted to stay and meet Friday again next week!

We are so delighted that we have appointed Sharon, a highly qualified dog trainer, to assist in recruiting more dogs as we extend this service to other Calvary hospitals in Adelaide.


If you are interested in volunteering with Calvary find out more here

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