A grandma who has been struggling with Alzheimer’s finally finds joy with the help of a little puppy named Orla.
“My 95-year-old Nan has Alzheimer’s, so she cries a lot and gets very angry and confused,” Richard Dawson, her grandson, wrote on Twitter this past week. “We started borrowing a dog and now this happens.”
My 95-year-old Nan has Alzheimer's, so she cries a lot and gets very angry and confused. We started borrowing a dog and now this happens. pic.twitter.com/PvNQ5xYsOO
— Richard Dawson (@dawsonsweek) February 28, 2017
Dawson, from the U.K., used an app to help find his grandma Winifred Lowe a friend.
“I work in the care industry, so have read a lot about the positive effects that animals can have on people with dementia,” Dawson, tells This Dog’s Life. “I then heard about Borrow My Doggy, a service in the UK where you can borrow a dog from a local owner. “
Dawson connected with a woman who had a dachshund puppy named Orla. His grandma and the pup hit it off right away, and now Orla visits her every week.
“She comes for a few hours every Tuesday and Thursday,” says Dawson. “When she gets more settled, we’ll have her perhaps for longer periods.”
These visits have helped transform Dawson’s grandma, as her worries are now replaced by pure joy.
“One of the big issues with her Alzheimer’s is she doesn’t handle pain very well,” he tells us. “She grizzles and cries like a baby over regular aches and pains. A big benefit of Orla coming over is it completely distracts her, any crying or moaning stops and she just plays.”
And it held little Orla, too. “She loves the attention, Orla gets worn out from playtime before my Nan does!” Dawson says.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
“Orla loves the constant attention my Nan gives her and Nan loves playing with her,” says Dawson. “It’s the perfect combination.”