(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

New ElderDog program helps seniors keep dogs at home

Organization seeks volunteers to help seniors stay close to their canines

Victoria will soon be home to an ElderDog Pawd.

Completely volunteer run and donation funded, ElderDog Canada provides assistance to elderly people and their canine companions. According to the national website, ElderDog works with seniors who want keep their close relationships with their dogs, but feel they are unable to as much as they would like. The organization assists with exercising, grooming and transportation. They also help to arrange boarding services if someone was to have an extended hospital stay.

They also help older dogs transition to their next stage in life after the loss of a human.

Oak Bay resident Airan Felzien is one the key organizers bringing ElderDog to Victoria.

“A couple years ago when I saw this organization in a news article I looked in to the group and I thought it was a really wonderful organization, and I thought it would be really well suited for Victoria,” Felzien said.

Felzien reached out to ElderDog, though at the time they didn’t have the resources ready but were hoping to launch a chapter – rather, a Pawd – in Victoria in the future.

A few months ago ElderDog reached out to Felzien. They had managed to find a few like-minded volunteers, and wanted her to hep start a South Island Pawd. The Pawd here follows a newly launched Pawd in Vancouver.

Felzien says that part of what makes ElderDog special is that the group recognizes and honours the bond between humans and animals.

“In my profession I do see how certain individuals as they age they may get to a point where they may not be able to care for their animals the way that want to,” Felzien said. “I think it’s really important to be able to maintain that relationship. It’s really important for both the dog and the human. I think it’s a really great way to still maintain that relationship and foster the independence and keep the dogs in home as best as possible.”

The organization was founded in Nova Scotia by Dr. Ardra Cole in 2009, motivated partly by her research into the role family dogs played as caregivers for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It has since spread across Canada.

READ MORE: Early signs of Alzheimer’s focus of UVic study

At this stage the Victoria Pawd is looking for volunteers. So far Felzien says that they have six members who have taken on key organization roles. Felzien says the goal is to have enough volunteers so that can offer the full range of ElderDog services upon launch. ElderDog’s founder, Dr. Ardra Cole, said that she hopes to have Victoria’s Pawd up and running by the spring. Felzien was hesitant to name a specific date, but was pretty sure that they will be operational within the year.

Those interested in volunteering should check out the Facebook page “ElderDog Canada Victoria,” or visit www.elderdog.ca. Felzien says that volunteers should be prepared to volunteer three or four hours a week. They need people who are willing to take dogs on walks, act as fosters, aid with transport, or help with fundraising.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

(Photo: ElderDogs Canada)

Just Posted

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read