Posted 27/05/2022

Therapy dog brings joy to customers at Dobsons House

Customers living at Swan’s Extra Care Scheme in Rayleigh, Dobsons House, have gained a new four-legged friend, with therapy dog Gibbs stopping by to pay them a visit.

Last week was the Golden Retriever’s second time at the scheme, attending with his owner Alison, thanks to the charity Essex Therapy Dogs.

Named after NCIS’ Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the adorable retriever was warmly welcomed by our customers, with many already looking forward to his visits.

As well as lots of canine cuddles, the adorable guest also provides the opportunity for customers to socialise with each other, with the communal living room filling up while Gibbs is there.

For many of our customers at Dobsons House, spending time with Gibbs brought back memories of them owning their own pets. One customer, Heidi, told of how she used to own five rescue dogs and has always loved animals. Another customer, Yvonne, who has lived at Dobsons House for six years, also shared a similar experience.

She said: “I am glad I didn’t miss Gibbs this week. I have always had cats, but I love all animals, so I am having withdrawal symptoms…I think he is a big hit. I cannot imagine him not coming in. It is something to look forward to and is definitely therapy.”

Senior Care and Support Assistant, Caroline Cooper, also shared the same enthusiasm towards Gibbs and Alison’s visits:

She said: “It is going down really well; the residents are keen to come down. We have had more people this week as people are getting to know him…we have seen the benefits already.”

Despite being a puppy, at only 21 months, Gibbs is a very gentle and calm dog and has been loving all the attention. It’s not hard to see why he’s been so popular!

There are plans for the pair to continue to visit Swan’s Extra Care Scheme bi-weekly for the foreseeable future and bring more joy to Dobsons House.