Jan and Jeff's story 

The Bedlington Whippet who adds an extra little joy to caring

Caring with a dog

When Jan began caring, she found the logistics of dog care quite tricky, to the point where she considered giving up care as a career – until she noticed other carers taking their dogs on placements and realised that maybe caring for a dog didn’t need to be a hindrance to caring for others.

“I was going to be on a temporary placement, which was five weeks long, so I phoned the placement’s carer at the time and said, ‘Do you think it would be okay if I brought my dog?’ And there wasn’t a problem – their dog was friendly, and so was mine, and it ended up working well.”

Jan is a conscientious dog owner and wouldn’t take Jeff anywhere if she believed it to be a risk. 

I was going to make Jeff a therapy dog. I think he would be brilliant if you took him into a care home and to brighten people's day - he's such a people dog that I know he would love it too.

So far, she hasn’t seen anything other than Jeff bringing a positive spark to the days of the people she cares for and her own.

A little less lonely

At Jan’s current placement, the lady she cares for used to have a dog and says it’s so lovely to have a dog back in the home again – Jeff has bonded with her and makes the days less lonely. Plus, Jeff keeps everyone occupied after the usual routines are done for the day and wants to play or cuddle. 

“It’s nice to have a mental break, getting outside and taking strolls with him – because sometimes I can get to the end of the day on a placement and realise I haven’t taken a break, but with Jeff around, I can’t really do that. I think there are major benefits to having a dog around – even just stroking him has a perfect calming effect.”

Jan integrates some chores outside of the house with walking Jeff, such as going to the local shops, but mostly, she finds having Jeff on placements encourages her to take her needed breaks by walking him to the beach or local field and watching him play.

“He makes people feel cared for – he always initiates being petted, which helps people feel special. He’s also a very compassionate dog, knows when I’m in a bad mood, and always finds a way to let me know it’s okay.”

The benefits of Pet Ownership

According to Human Animal Bond Research  87% of pet owners said their mental health improved since having a pet. 92% of owners agree that more therapy animals should be utilised in health care and schools and that rental housing should have fewer pet restrictions. Companionships such as Jan and Jeff’ are evidence of these statistics – our pets are positive, joyful companions who help us in many ways and, therefore, should be with us whether we need them to be. 

Care with Elder – your pet

At Elder, we believe in the health benefits of companionship with pets and that no one should be forced to be without a much-loved family member simply because they’re an animal.

We will do our best to accommodate your pets on a placement or when receiving care because we always want to find the perfect match for people and for care to fit just right into your usual life, whether you’re the one needing care or the one caring.