Dogs a dose of therapy for hospital, nursing home patients

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Donna Moss and Rudd the therapy dog outside Clarence Estate.
Camera IconDonna Moss and Rudd the therapy dog outside Clarence Estate.

To patients at Albany Health Campus and Clarence Estate Nursing, Willem and Ruud Moss are not like any other visitors.

The therapy dogs are capable of detecting human emotion and needs in order to provide them with comfort during distress.

The two dogs make weekly visits to Albany Health Campus and Clarence Estate Nursing, which owner Donna Moss said was the perfect job for their temperament. “They love people and we trained them to focus even when there are many distractions around them,” she said.

“They seem to be able to detect other people’s emotions and give them the attention they need.”

Mrs Moss said she did not have to tell her dogs to do their work because they had a natural instinct to act.

“I might as well just drop them off at the hospital and let them do their magic, because he seems to know where he needs to go,” she said. It was Ruud’s instinct that brought him to Maurice Lock’s door, a 79-years-old resident at Clarence Estate.

Maurice Lock a 79-years-old resident at Clarence Estate.
Camera IconMaurice Lock a 79-years-old resident at Clarence Estate.

The pair bonded immediately after their first encounter, and nursing staff said Mr Lock was always joyful each time Ruud came along. This year, their hard work was recognised by WA Department of Communities as dedicated WA volunteers.

Mrs Moss, who has been breeding and training keeshond dogs for more than seven years, said it took a lot of effort to breed therapy dogs.

However, she said the hard work was always worth it.

“It’s a great feeling when I see people connect to Ruud and Willem — these dogs just want to make everyone happy.”

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