Tui has had a fairly easy life during her five and a half years with us – she gets lots of cuddles, daily walks, a snuggly bed, delicious food, and the love of all who know her.  Thankfully, she recognised how fortunate she is, so she’s decided to contribute positively to society by becoming an Outreach Therapy Pet.  She’ll be a Nurse Dog.  She’ll even have to wear a special uniform!

This is such a cool programme, run as a joint initiative of St John and SPCA Auckland.  It involves taking pets (dogs and cats, mostly, but sometimes more exciting animals like llamas and donkeys) into schools, hospitals and rest homes, to enable people to get the benefits of patting something warm and furry.

On Saturday Tui and I went to an assessment day for the programme, and I’m delighted to report that we both passed with flying colours.  I agreed with the assessors that Tui’s a bit too meek and gentle to deal with a rowdy classroom full of kids, but she’ll be perfect to sit next to a wheelchair or armchair in a nice rest home and get some pats from old ladies and gentlemen.  It really sounds like a lovely volunteering opportunity for both of us: she gets lots of love, adoration and pats, and I get to chat to nice older people and help them to pass the day.


2 thoughts on “Tui Nightingale

  1. Old people really open up when there’s an animal in the room, particularly ones who used to have a cat/dog/whatever and miss having one. It’s so fun to watch them chatter away. Just be prepared for long, anient stories about Tiddles who died on 1942 but they never forgot!

    1. Yep, it should be lovely. Apparently it’s quite common for fairly introverted people in rest homes to respond really well when pets visit, and become a lot more sociable, so that would be amazing. My grandmother was in a nice rest home, but it still seemed like such a soulless and lonely place, so it will be good to do something to help.

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