These days Sarah, who lives at a Tipping House, has a huge permanent smile on her face.
Recently something – or someone in particular – has been helping her feel more happy and healthy. That someone is a very cute Maltese Shih Tzu cross named Bazz.
There is plenty of evidence around that having a pet, and a dog in particular, can promote better mental and physical health. They can help to ease loneliness, reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and encourage exercise and playfulness. If you’ve ever had a dog, you’ll already know that while you might look after them by feeding and taking care of them, at the same time, they are also taking care of you.
Before the arrival of Bazz at the house, our staff noticed Sarah was missing out on some of the things other residents she shared the house with had through their own external social networks. Prior to moving into residential care, Sarah lived at home with a dog who she loved. Bazz was very kindly donated to the household by one of our direct support workers who was very grateful and honoured to part with her pet for the greater benefit of the client. Bazz spent some time greeting all the residents and settling into his new surrounds before making himself comfortable on Sarah’s lap.
Since his introduction into the home, Bazz seems to have taken a real shine to Sarah, whose mood has dramatically changed for the better. Sarah is now smiling more, utilising both hands, and learning to communicate with him through physical communication. Sarah and Bazz like to go for walks together, and are also happy just sitting and spending together – and of course sharing cuddles! Sarah has additional responsibility now, helping to give Bazz his food and fresh water every day, and he comes to her for his treats every morning.
Having Bazz has increased Sarah’s awareness and is prompting her to use her mind with fantastic outcomes. Looking after Bazz has increased her sense of purpose, adding real joy and valuable companionship to her life.
Sarah doesn’t talk much, but is learning to call Bazz, and sometimes she pats her leg for him to jump up on her lap. Bazz seems to know that he is Sarah’s dog. In the mornings when he is let in, he charges up the hallway to find her.
Bazz has been accepted by all the residents at the house, where he’s now a permanent resident.
Sarah’s bright smiley face lets us know that a dream has come true for her!
If you would like to know more about our disability support services at The Tipping Foundation, click here