Join the fun where every dog has its day

Canine Friends looking for volunteers to spread joy

SARAH MCCARTHY
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014
Canine Friend
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/ Fairfax NZ

SMOOCHY POOCH: Canine Friend Toby visits twins Nola, left, and Eva Humphries, at Bainfield Park residential home. 

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Every pair of eyes in the room are on him and he loves it.

Toby can't take the ecstasy any longer - he lies on his back, legs in the air, and cocks a coquettish eye at his next target.

He's in heaven.

Toby, a Canine Friend, is visiting Bainfield Park with his volunteer, Canine Friends co-ordinator Marie Lockie, who said that people in retirement homes or other kinds of support care often missed their pets, so having a friendly, furry pal to visit was a great treat for residents.

"The therapy with the dogs is just so good," said Bainfield Park activities co-ordinator Jac Fryer. "It's nice for people to be able to express physical affection like that as well." The animals get a kick out of it too.

"They just love to come," Lockie said.

Toby had practically dragged her through the door once he realised he was going to be in for some serious rubs and pats, and he had only visited the home once before.

Sadly, volunteer numbers are dwindling so Canine Friends is hoping to sniff out some new helpers to join in the fun.

"It can be once a week, once a fortnight," Lockie said.

People with a spare hour a week or fortnight and who have a friendly dog that can sit beside a chair, without licking or sniffing much, or sit on a knee, are invited to learn more about Canine Friends by going to caninefriends.org.nz

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