(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

New ElderDog program helps seniors keep dogs at home

Organization seeks volunteers to help seniors stay close to their canines

Victoria will soon home to an ElderDog Pawd.

Completely volunteer run and donation funded, ElderDog Canada provides assistance to elderly people and their canine companions. According to the national website, ElderDog works with seniors who want keep their close relationships with their dogs, but feel they are unable to as much as they would like. The organization assists with exercising, grooming and transportation. They also help to arrange boarding services if someone was to have an extended hospital stay.

They also help older dogs transition to their next stage in life after the loss of a human.

Oak Bay resident Airan Felzien is one the key organizers bringing ElderDog to Victoria.

“A couple years ago when I saw this organization in a news article I looked in to the group and I thought it was a really wonderful organization, and I thought it would be really well suited for Victoria,” Felzien said.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island service dogs helping veterans deal with PTSD

Felzien reached out to ElderDog, though at the time they didn’t have the resources ready but were hoping to launch a chapter – rather, a Pawd – in Victoria in the future.

A few months ago ElderDog reached out to Felzien. They had managed to find a few like-minded volunteers, and wanted her to hep start a South Island Pawd. The Pawd here follows a newly launched Pawd in Vancouver.

Felzien says that part of what makes ElderDog special is that the group recognizes and honours the bond between humans and animals.

“In my profession I do see how certain individuals as they age they may get to a point where they may not be able to care for their animals the way that want to,” Felzien said. “I think it’s really important to be able to maintain that relationship. It’s really important for both the dog and the human. I think it’s a really great way to still maintain that relationship and foster the independence and keep the dogs in home as best as possible.”

The organization was founded in Nova Scotia by Dr. Ardra Cole in 2009, motivated partly by her research into the role family dogs played as caregivers for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It has since spread across Canada.

READ MORE: Early signs of Alzheimer’s focus of UVic study

At this stage the Victoria Pawd is looking for volunteers. So far Felzien says that they have six members who have taken on key organization roles. Felzien says the goal is to have enough volunteers so that can offer the full range of ElderDog services upon launch. ElderDog’s founder, Dr. Ardra Cole, said that she hopes to have Victoria’s Pawd up and running by the spring. Felzien was hesitant to name a specific date, but was pretty sure that they will be operational within the year.

Those interested in volunteering should check out the Facebook page “ElderDog Canada Victoria,” or visit www.elderdog.ca. Felzien says that volunteers should be prepared to volunteer three or four hours a week. They need people who are willing to take dogs on walks, act as fosters, aid with transport, or help with fundraising.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

Just Posted

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read