When Beeston Rise met Peggy

17 May 2024

When Beeston Rise met Peggy

On May 1st, Beeston Rise welcomed miniature dachshund Peggy and her owner Ellie to meet the residents and trial the possibility of regular visits. Everyone fell in love with Peggy instantly, and the positive impact on mood was evident. Peggy was thrilled to meet everyone and revelled in the attention, from cuddles to ear scratches. It was clear that both residents and Peggy enjoyed the visit, so we promptly scheduled her next three visits.

Due to the overwhelming success of Peggy’s first visit, she returned on May 13th, and the visit was even more successful. Residents who are typically more reserved showed noticeable mood improvements. Ariel and Jacqueline were visibly engaged. Ariel remarked, “Make sure you book me in for her next visit.”

Peggy’s visits also prompted residents to reminisce about happy memories and led to conversations about her visit later in the evening. Everyone is eagerly anticipating her next visit.

This week, we are recognising Mental Health Awareness Week, and having Peggy visit has significantly boosted the mental well-being of everyone at Beeston Rise. Peggy and Ellie volunteer at Therapy Dogs Nationwide, a national charity where owners take their dogs into establishments to provide comfort, distraction, and stimulation. Peggy certainly accomplished that during her visit.

The concept of Therapy Dogs was originally devised by Lesley Scott-Ordish in 1976 when she discovered the trauma experienced by the elderly when forced to give up a beloved pet upon entering residential care. Using her own dogs to visit, she immediately saw the positive impact on the emotional well-being of the residents.

Though not a new concept, numerous studies over the years have confirmed the benefits of Therapy Dogs in various settings. Animals such as dogs, cats, and horses have been companions to humans throughout history. As people age, they often rely more on these companions for comfort, whether it be a cat or dog.

Pet therapy offers many benefits, including:

Combatting loneliness

Boosting activity levels

Reducing stress and depression

Unlocking memories

Increasing social involvement

Enhancing emotional well-being


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