Introducing Alfie, our Therapy Dog
Last updated: 1.59pm, Friday 25th September 2020
Alfie, who belongs to our Home Manager, Julie Thompson, has been visiting care homes since he was just a pup at nine weeks old.
Now a two-year-old Cockapoo (a crossbreed bred from a Cocker Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle), Alfie is a bit of an expert at raising smiles among residents and staff at Westerton Care Home.
Julie told us more: “Alfie (or cutie as he is affectionately known) comes to work with me three or four days per week. He brings so much joy to everyone he meets.
“Residents are encouraged to take him for a walk so they can both enjoy some time in the fresh air. He also visits residents who choose to stay in their room and provides lots of comfort and endless entertainment.
“Like most dogs, Alfie loves sitting with residents, getting lots of attention, tummy rubs and of course playing fetch. He’s definitely part of the family and the residents really miss him when he is not around.”
Cockapoos are a fantastic breed of dog, renowned for their playful and kind temperament. They are ideally suited to providing emotional support and therapy as they are highly intelligent and will adhere to commands quickly
A therapy dog such as Alfie knows how to react and respond to people and their environment, under the guidance of their owner.
Research shows that the presence of a dog can have a positive impact on physiology and psychology and helps to reduce stress levels. Stroking a pet has been shown to lower blood pressure and the heart rate, bringing a calming effect – but also triggering oxytocin, a hormone that increases trust in humans.