How dogs lend a paw to support our residents

25 August 2020


(Please note, the photos in this article were taken prior to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.)

Happiness is a warm puppy – as the saying goes.

And at Exemplar Health Care, we believe that dogs spending time with residents can help boost mental and physical health. Not to mention that our residents love to spend time with the dogs – who doesn’t?

That’s why, before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, we loved it when dogs owned by care colleagues come visit our homes regularly.

At our homes, dogs help provide both physical contact and sensory stimulation that research suggests is beneficial, and of course, lots of cuddles.

“Dogs bring such joy, a calming effect and an extremely positive contribution to the physical and emotional well-being of our residents,” says Sophia Feurtado, Exemplar Health Care’s Service User Engagement Manager.

“They brighten the days of residents - the transformation that dogs bring is evident as they relax and smile from ear to ear,” Sophia adds.  

And as today, Wednesday 26 August is International Dog Day, we’d like to show you some snaps and stories of dogs at our homes. Please note that most of these photos were taken well before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

Buddy at Dearnevale

buddy dearnevale

Buddy, a Lhasa Apso at Dearnevale in Barnsley, belongs to Sharon, the home’s Life Skills Coordinator, seen to the right in the picture. But Buddy’s a very regular visitor – and a big fan of Julie, one of our residents.

Cole and Doug at Fairwinds

fairwinds cole doug

Cole and Doug, two pugs at Fairwinds, Rotherham, are the home's two beloved mascots, and are owned by the Home Manager, who brings them in just about every day. These two pugs can often be found cruising for cuddles in the home’s corridors, or schmoozing for treats from the home’s generous colleagues.

They’re always willing to take part in special occasions – such as wearing spooktastic Halloween costumes, or posing with Exemplar Health Care’s Christmas hampers for colleagues, as seen above.

Titch at Kingfisher View


Titch the boxer, seen here with Karen, a resident at Kingfisher View in Castleford who he’s close with, is deaf. But that doesn’t stop him extending his paw of friendship to everyone at the home. Titch belongs to a Nurse at the home – and his visits are always eagerly welcomed.

Another Buddy at Fairburn Mews


Buddy, who’s a cavapoo – a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Toy Poodle – is the de-facto therapy dog at Fairburn Mews in Castleford. While technically owned by the Home Manager, Buddy spends most days at the home, much to the joy of the residents. Here he is taking a walk around the grounds with Elaine, a resident.

Megs at Longley Park View

longley park

When Megs, a loving but seemingly camera-shy Jack Russell came to Longley Park View in Sheffield on a visit with the relatives of a resident, the care team and residents promptly fell in love. Megs was introduced to everyone on the unit, who enjoyed cuddling her!

Coco at Lonnen Grove

coco lonnen

Coco, an adorable Staffordshire bull terrier puppy, came along for the day with his owner, a member of Lonnen Grove in Rotherham’s care team. As you can see, Coco took a particular liking to one of our residents!

Oscar at Fairburn Vale


Leanne, a Support Worker at Fairburn Vale in Castleford, brought her gorgeous boxer dog Oscar in to visit. Our residents and colleagues absolutely loved him and they can’t wait for his next visit. It’s safe to say Oscar had a lot of fun, if his facial expression is anything to go by!