JAM JAR ARMY: Fennel the dog’s visits eagerly anticipated

Fennel with residents at Abbeyfield House in Alnwick.
Fennel with residents at Abbeyfield House in Alnwick.

Britain is considered a nation of animal lovers and Abbeyfield House is delighted to be able to welcome Fennel, a Pets As Therapy dog, into the home to visit our residents.

Pets As Therapy (PAT) is a national charity providing therapeutic animal visits to care homes, as well as hospitals and hospices, to enhance health and wellbeing.

Fennel with residents at Abbeyfield House in Alnwick.

Fennel with residents at Abbeyfield House in Alnwick.

Fennel’s owner, Jen, volunteered to bring her into the home on a regular basis and it is clear how much the residents look forward to her visits and how much joy she brings with her.

There have been several research studies into the benefits that pets bring to residents in a care-home environment, which includes enhancing the feeling of wellbeing and having a positive effect on mood in elderly residents in care homes.

Studies have shown that when people of any age pet animals, their blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature decrease. Many of our residents have had pets before and it creates a lovely atmosphere and memories for them when Fennel comes in.

Fennel has only been a PAT dog for around a year, but she knows when she gets into the car park that she is coming to help.

Her tail never stopped wagging when I went to meet her and she put a smile on my face for the rest of the day, never mind the smiles I saw on the faces of our residents.

PAT dogs have been assessed for their suitability and are supervised by their owners during a visit to the home.

Fennel, however, isn’t the only dog who visits the home as many families bring their four-legged members to see their relatives.

To find out more about Abbeyfield House, contact Heather Dixon or Suzanne Robba on 01665 604876,