Brothers Richard and Martin Dawson care for their elderly grandparents who live in an apartment attached to their home in Worthing, England.
Sadly, their grandmother – whom they lovingly refer to as “Nan” – suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. Distraught by her increasing confusion, the brothers wondered if a canine companion might help.
They had observed the incredible change in clarity and mood that Nan displays each time the family gets a visit from their baby nephew – Nan’s great-grandson. The brothers suspected that a loving pet could have the same effect, but neither was prepared for the additional responsibility that a dog would add to the household.
Martin cares for his grandparents full-time and Richard works in digital marketing, so bringing in a pet felt like too much work. After a bit of research, Richard discovered the website borrowmydoggy.com that, as the name suggests, pairs friendly local dogs with “borrowers” who crave a dose of puppy love in their lives.
“We were matched with a lady called Ann and she brought the puppy called Orla down to meet with myself, my brother and my grandparents,” Richard told TODAY.com.
Orla is a boisterous 9-month-old Dachshund with plenty of kisses and snuggles to go around. She and Nan hit it off instantly and have been spending their Tuesdays and Thursdays together ever since. The Dawsons are so delighted with the improvements they have seen in their grandmother since Orla came along that they plan to add additional weekly visits.
Richard posted a few heartwarming snapshots of Orla and Nan cuddling and playing together on Twitter. The post went viral with 6,000 likes and has been re-shared more than 2,000 times. Orla’s mom, Ann, is delighted that her pooch has had such a remarkably positive effect on Nan.
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Thanks to the post, Richard has had several people reach out saying they intend to try the service with their own elderly relatives. Others have reported that they plan to lend out their pooches in the hopes of helping folks like Nan.