The newest staff member at West Island Palliative Care Residence is Abby, the emotional support puppy. In a place that can sometimes be sad, she has been brought on to bring smiles to patients like Bruce Lockett.
“She makes you feel more home, and less tense,” says Lockett, who is suffering from cancer.
Patients are not the only ones who benefit from the rescue puppy’s presence.
“She’s part of the home, and I think the effects are on everybody: the patients, the families, the staff, the volunteers. It just makes it more home-like. There’s not a lot of people who don’t want to hug a puppy,” said West Island Palliative Care executive director Teresa Dellar.
Volunteers like Susan Belanger welcome Abby’s addition.
“You know, it just lifts everybody’s spirits, they’re just adorable little beings,” Belanger told Global News.
Rosie Animal Adoption rescued Abby from up north, where she was part of a litter of puppies born there.
“This animal is not only being saved, but she’s coming into a home where she will be loved and nurtured, and become a part of our family and our future,” said Dellar.
At just eight weeks old, they expect Abby to be brightening days for many years to come.