(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(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 be 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.

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)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

Just Posted

Starting in June, Government Street will be closed to most vehicles between Humboldt and View streets. A section of Government Street was transformed into a pedestrian-priority walkway in the wake of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria plans 10-hour closures of Government Street come June

City’s business relief plan extended, Government St. from Humboldt to View closed noon to 10 p.m.

Cyclists cruised around Saanich at the 2017 Cycling Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich scavenger hunt replaces annual Cycling Festival

Participants encouraged to ‘walk or roll’ to 20 secret sites, submit photo proof for prizes

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read