(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

 

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

Just Posted

Victoria woman experiencing homelessness wants systematic changes as she faces losing her truck

Willi Boepple fears losing one of her last possessions after being inundated with parking tickets

WATCH: Marine security company posts live seal cam at Oak Bay Marina

Seals tend to loiter near the fish-cleaning table

UPDATED: Two-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Passengers destined for Tsawwassen without a reservation should allow for extra time at terminal

Bacteria counts lead Island Health to warn swimmers off Elk/Beaver Lake beach

As a precautionary measure it is not recommended for people or pets to enter the water

Tour de Victoria: The downlow on detours in the region

Thousands of cyclists participating in ninth Tour de Victoria

WATCH: Family dog missing after fire tears through Metchosin home

Firefighters continue to monitor for hot spots

Victoria Shamrocks open WLA finals at Q Centre in Colwood

Team is evenly matched in championship series against Maple Ridge Burrards

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

POLL: What is the main thing you would like to see improved on BC Ferries?

BC Ferries passengers are sounding off on what they would like to… Continue reading

Most Read