Therapy Volunteer Dog Helps Those Suffering from Memory and Cognitive Loss
CHARLOTTE - A 3 year old puppy spent his Tuesday morning getting lots of rub downs and lots of love.
"We rubbed his head and just loved it," said Virginia Thompson, a visitor the The Ivey Memory Wellness Day Center.
Duncan is a trained therapy dog and he volunteers his time at the center in South Charlotte.
CEO and founder Lynn Ivey said they broke ground 10 years ago.
"The reason I wanted to build this is because my mother lived with Alzheimer's disease," said Ivey.
Visitors to the day center suffer from a range of issues from Alzheimer to cognitive loss.
"I believe any time you are in state of dis-ease, having a being, a special being, who is loving, that actually lowers blood pressure for anyone!" said Ivey.
Duncan’s caretaker, Joan Wright’s father suffered from dementia.
"It was a very lonely time for him, very isolating and a long goodbye for us," said Wright.
She began to see how comforted her father became around his own furry friend.
"And I just thought, this is really special," said Wright.
"Especially as you grow older and sometimes are alone you have your dog and thats company and you feel that and its very comforting, because they are with you and care," said Thompson.
Wright says during hangouts with Duncan, visitors share memories of their own pets.
"And then those memories trail on to summertime memories and then all of a sudden we're talking about a trip to Maine, eating lobster rolls," she added.
"It made us feel so wonderful to share our love with the little dog," said Thompson.
And Duncan doesn't mind the rub downs either.
To learn more about the center click here.