A gentle giant bid a fond farewell to residents at a Sanctuary Care home in Worcester recently, with a final goodbye before his retirement.
Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog Bentley has been visiting Sanctuary Care residents for three years, but is hanging up his collar at the ripe old age of seven.
The Bernese Mountain dog, who weighs around eight-and-a-half-stone, dropped into Sanctuary Care’s Juniper House Residential Care Home off Bromyard Road in St John’s recently with his owner Judith Robson to say goodbye to the residents, many of whom he has made strong bonds with.
One in particular, 101-year-old animal lover Norah Harris, will be particularly sad to see him go. She said: “He’s such a good boy! We will miss him.”
Judith added: “It’s been a real pleasure coming to visit the residents, it always warms my heart when I see how much joy they get from Bentley – their faces always light up and he gets just as excited to see them too! We’ve both built some lovely bonds with people in the home, with both staff and the residents and it is so sad to say goodbye – it’s an end of an era, a very special era.
“Bentley is such a special dog and from the very start we knew we had to share him and I’m pleased we did, all the visits have been so worthwhile and we’ve made some very special memories.”
Bentley has proved to be a very popular visitor for residents at the home, which opened last year. One gentleman, who was terrified of dogs, was introduced to Bentley and from that day forward would follow him around throughout his visits, stroking him and asking questions about him.
Judith added: “It is amazing the affect Bentley has on people – young and old alike.”
Deputy manager at the home, which provides residential care and dementia care, Karen Jeffries said: “Bentley is such a special dog and so many of our residents genuinely really love him. They look forward to his visits and will all really miss him. He is such a beautiful, gentle dog and we are so grateful to Judith and Pets as Therapy for sharing him with us.”
Pets as Therapy has a network of inspiring and dedicated volunteers who share their wonderful pets with people across the community. They provide therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes and all types of schools, where they provide joy, comfort and companionship to thousands of people across the UK.
They also work with practitioners to assist with stroke rehabilitation and people with dog phobias.