Oak Lodge is a six bedded purpose built bungalow, residential home for adults with physical and learning disabilities and is staffed 24 hours a
A two year-old Yorkshire Terrier/Jack Russell cross who was adopted by one of our residential homes for people with physical and learning disabilities last November, is brightening their lives with his infectious enthusiasm for life.
The idea of finding a pet for the people who live at Oak Lodge came to one of their senior support workers Geraldine Bird when she noticed how much they enjoyed the company of a dog which regularly spent the evenings with them in the holiday accommodation in Devon where they stayed last summer.
Geraldine said: “All the people who met this dog on holiday absolutely loved him, and thought it was great when he laid on the floor and watched TV with them.
“When we got home again, we all had a chat and decided that it would be wonderful if the people who live at Oak Lodge could adopt a dog of their own.
“We contacted several different rescue homes before we found Teddy, but he was worth waiting for – he’s the perfect pet for the people who live at Oak Lodge.”
As well as getting lots of cuddles and petting, Teddy goes out for daily walks with the residents, many of whom are in wheelchairs.
Some of the people who live in our nearby services, also get involved in exercising him, which is delivering additional benefits by strengthening bonds between these neighbouring groups.
Geraldine Bird said: “Teddy has been a great hit since day one. Everywhere the people we support go, he goes too.
“Last week they took him on an assessment visit to see a barge which two of them will be hiring for their summer holiday this year because – naturally - Teddy will be going too.”
Having pets around the home has proven therapeutic benefits which include improving a sense of well-being as well as helping people deal with anxiety.
Teddy has inspired three members of the Oak Lodge staff team to take part in the UK’s first 2.5km and 5km dog-and-owner obstacle run and raise money to help care for the animals of Battersea Dogs’ Home.
Geraldine and her colleagues Sami Baker, Service Manager and Claire Duerdoth, Senior Support Worker, have all signed up for the 2018 Muddy Dog Challenge - with Teddy – and are already in training for the event which will take place in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 29 September.
The people who live at Oak Lodge have also decided to donate all the funds they raise at their planned summer fayre in July to Battersea Dogs’ Home.