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Beautiful therapy dogs bring smiles to the faces of residents in north Wales care home

27 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Patricia Randall and husband Derek Randall with Megan Roberts and dogs Maiya, Mags and Inca

Residents at a dementia care home were treated to a visit from some furry friends this week as part of their therapy.

Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd, the dementia centre of excellence on the outskirts of Caernarfon hosted the trio of three-year-old Sky Terriers who have become much anticipated visitors for the animal loving residents.

Owner of Maiya, Mags and Inca, Megan Roberts, from nearby Rhostryfan, said the therapy dogs look forward to their visits just as much as the residents enjoy seeing them.

She said: “When I get out the tabards they wear for the visit they get really excited. It’s as if they know where they’re going.

“And when they get here it’s great to see the reaction of residents to the dogs. They like to show some affection toward the dogs and it seems the dogs are only too happy to reciprocate. It’s quite a special thing to see.

“Some seem to come alive when they visit and while some will only just pet and make a fuss of them others will talk about the dogs they have known or owned in the past. It has to be a good thing to stimulate those memories.”

Bryn Seiont Newydd residents Derek Randall and his wife, Patricia, love meeting the dogs and look foreward to the therapy visits.

Derek Randall with Inca – Picture by Rick Matthews


The 85-year-old, who used to live in Llangefni, Anglesey, said: “I was a dog handler when I served in the Army in Cyprus in the late 1950s and love dogs.

“After I left the Army, I was a clerk on the railway and then a bus driver and a chocolate cake salesman before joining the Royal Mail.

“I worked in the Bethesda area for 18 years and I didn’t like them much when I was a postman but I like these little dogs and it’s nice to stroke them and just to see them.”

Nia Davies Williams, Bryn Seiont’s musician in residence and enrichment co-ordinator, said the visits are extremely popular with residents and staff alike.

Nia said: “Megan kindly volunteered to bring their dogs in on a weekly basis and we are so grateful. You can see some residents’ faces light up as soon as they see the dogs. There is real joy and happiness.”

Owner, Megan is a member of Therapy Dogs Nationwide, a national charity where visiting volunteers take their own dogs into various establishments to provide comfort, distraction, and stimulation and always focused on benefiting people in the community.

Megan said using animals especially dogs as therapy is not a new idea.

“They have been used for over 40 years in experience in the care sector and the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) have been extensively studied and results range from improvement in general health and wellbeing, increased confidence levels, improved and controlled movement to improved communication skills,” she said.

The Skye Terriers Megan brings to Bryn Seiont Newydd are members of one of the most endangered native dog breeds in the United Kingdom, with very few pups are born each year.

Megan Roberts bringing in the dogs – Picture by Rick Matthews

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