Posted 2 months ago ago
By Rhodri Harrison
A pensioner has been able to rekindle his love of dogs after having to give up his own pet when he moved into sheltered accommodation.
Trevor Morris, from Whitland in Carmarthenshire, suffered a stroke around two years ago and was moved into sheltered accommodation which meant his 13-year-old Lhasa Apso, called Missy, had to move in with his daughter. Sadly Missy passed away four months later.
Missy Morris: Trevor Morris
"She was with me all day, she was part of the family, she was a child and I felt like I had lost her. I didn't feel good about parting with her," said Trevor.
"There are several people in the complex I live at that have suffered the same scenario, having to give their dogs up to move.
"I felt like I needed contact with a dog again, my daughter has dogs and I just find them very therapeutic."
Trevor was referred to Cariad Pet Therapy, a group which works with animals in the community, and arranged wellbeing visits with one of their volunteers, Steve, and his German Shepard, Asha.
Trevor enjoyed his visit from German Shepherd Asha: Cariad Pet Therapy
Trevor loved his visit from the dog.
"The dog was very friendly and responsive to me, it was a very pleasant evening and by the end of it she was running alongside my scooter," he said.
"It brought back memories of Missy, it was a really nice experience and I think it's going to be a regular thing."
The experience was made all possible by Cariad Pet Therapy, visits care homes, schools, hospital wards, companies and people socially isolated in the community, covering South and West Wales.
Cariad Pet Therapy has 40 dogs and volunteers across Wales: Cariad Pet Therapy
Robert Thomas, Project Manager for Cariad Pet Therapy said: "In Wales today, more than 75% of women and a third of men over the age of 65 live alone.
"Without the means to leave their homes, or with fewer visits from community workers and service providers, an increasing number of older people will feel lonely and isolated resulting in damaging effects to their mental health.
"We believe that no dog-loving older member of our community should be without the love of a dog in their lives. By providing volunteer therapy dog teams we can help reduce loneliness and bring back the joy of spending time with a dog.”