Richard and Martin Dawson care for their aged grandparents, who live in an apartment attached to their home in Worthing, England. Like many adult children around the world, they have a grandparent with Alzheimer's disease --- their 95-year-old grandmother, "Nan," --- and they struggle each day in making the best decisions they can for her.
Recently, after noting Nan's increasing confusion and disorientation, the Dawsons came up with the idea that they thought might brighten her spirits. They had observed Nan's reaction when her great-grandson visited and wondered if a canine visitor would lift her spirits as well.
Richard Dawson contacted BorrowMyDoggy.com, a company that connects friendly dogs with people who are craving a puppy hug or two. The company immediately linked the Dawsons to a handler and a dog who were perfect for the job.
“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 Dawson said.
Orla is a 9-month old Dachshund puppy who is full of life and love. It turns out that she was just what the doctor ordered for Nan! The two thoroughly enjoy the two times a week that they meet, and Orla has plenty of kisses and snuggles that she is happy to give to Nan.
When Richard took some pictures of Nan and Orla and posted them online, they went viral. Even Ann, Orla's owner, is thrilled at the happiness that Orla has brought to Ann's life. “After it all happened she sent a message to me and my brother and told us how happy she was that Orla was making a difference with Nan,” said Richard.
Richard has also been happy to share this story with other people who would like to "borrow" a dog or who would like to let their dog be "borrowed." “I’ve had people say that they have a dog and they didn’t know how helpful this could be,” said Richard. “They’re now going to look into lending their dog out.”
It's amazing the difference that an animal can make in a person's life! We hope that Nan and Orla have many more enjoyable times together. Share the love in this story with your family and friends on Facebook!