Streamway volunteer recalls the positive impact her therapy dog had on a resident

Duffy, a British golden retriever, is a St. John Ambulance therapy dog who has visited Streamway Villa with his owner, Lisa Denvir. Due to protocols to keep residents and staff safe during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, there is currently no pet-therapy programming at OMNI Health Care long-term care homes.

‘For me, when I see that dramatic of a change, that’s particularly rewarding,’ says Lisa Denvir

Pet therapy programs are valuable assets to long-term care homes because of the positive impact they have on residents, but Lisa Denvir, who has visited Streamway Villa with her British golden retriever, Duffy, says the pair also reaps rewards from their time at the home.

Lisa and Duffy are a St. John Ambulance therapy dog team. They first visited the Cobourg long-term care home about a year ago.

Lisa recalls how during one visit to Streamway Villa there was a resident who normally didn’t communicate who suddenly caught a glimpse of Duffy.

She explains what happened next.

“(The resident) had never engaged with us before, and one day she just (looked at Duffy) and started rubbing his ears and talking to him and stroking him – the staff was just floored,” Lisa told The OMNIway in March.

“For me, when I see that dramatic of a change, that’s particularly rewarding.”

During their visits, Lisa and Duffy will meet with residents and their family members for some time together in a common area, and then the pair will have one-to-one visits with residents in their rooms.

“Duffy and I have made many friends among the residents and the staff, and (Streamway Villa) is a lovely place to visit with very interesting and lovely people to spend an hour or two with,” Lisa says.

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Streamway Villa, along with OMNI Health Care’s other 17 long-term care homes, is closed to all but essential visitors and programming, including pet therapy, is on hold at the moment.

This is Part 2 of a three-part story series that began in March. Click here to read Part 1.

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