We asked Ann Brown what volunteering with Dementia dog meant to her.
How did you first get involved in volunteering for Dementia Dogs?
We first heard about the Dementia Dog Project when we saw a plea in the local paper in November 2017 asking for a temporary home for one of the dogs while they were being trained at HMP Castle Huntly. I will admit to being a bit apprehensive but agreed to getting in contact with them. Within four days we had applied and been contacted to say someone would come and speak to us. The next week Kerry came along and chatted to me then asked if she could bring a dog in to see me – the wonderful Lenny nervously walked in with her. It was love at first sight and as they say the rest is history.
A few weeks after we met Lenny, we were invited to the Christmas meeting of the project where we met people who already had dogs. It was such an emotional day to see the difference that the dogs make to the people they live with. This confirmed that we were definitely doing the right thing by offering a temporary home to Lenny.
How many dogs have you helped board over the years?
We have had five dogs boarding with us over this period – some, like Lenny for a long period and others for holidays, weekends, etc.
Are there any particular special moments that stand out for you?
- The final day Lenny left HMP Castle Huntly – to see the bond the students and Lenny had formed made it hard for them to say goodbye. Another tearful day – I held out better than the students as I waited until I was safely away in the car
- Crossing the finish line with Lenny on my first Kiltwalk, raising money for the project – I was walking on my own but Lenny (and Kerry & Nadia) joined me for the final stretch
- The first time I met with Lenny’s family and saw Lenny with them – I knew he had the perfect family
- Lenny & Alex4paws every time I see them – no human is ever that happy to see me.
Would you recommend it to anyone?
100% – it is a fantastic project and we need to spread the word. The small team have done a fantastic job of it so far, but this project needs funding. There are lots of ways you can help – get in touch. I don’t regret it!
And…..is there a favourite four legged friend?!
Oh – that is like asking if you have a favourite child! I love them all – they are all my heroes! (all heroes don’t wear capes, some of them wear Dogs for Good jackets!) A special mention must of course go to Lenny, my first “furever” friend and to Alex4paws, my “furever” walking buddy.