This World Pet Memorial Day, we wanted to pay tribute to some of the incredible TheraPaws dogs that have sadly passed away over the last year.
These dogs and their volunteers had a transformative impact on the participants involved in our TheraPaws programme. Thanks to their dedication, they helped to reduce loneliness, improve mood , inspire communication, and provide a general sense of community and companionship.
Chloe was a Labrador Collie cross who spent four years volunteering her time as a TheraPaws dog. Chloe retired when she was aged 14 and a half, and sadly passed away last December, not long before her 16th birthday.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the four years I’ve spent working with the TheraPaws team and have seen first-hand the difference animals can make for those suffering from dementia.
Chloe and I visited the Westminster Dementia Centre in Notting Hill before she retired in 2018. We made it our goal every week to break through to people, to make them smile and to help bring joy to their day. Chloe got really excited every time I put her purple jacket on because she knew she was going to “work”. We saw people speak who hadn’t uttered a word in weeks, saw people laugh out loud who previously were sullen and even saw people overcome their fear of dogs through Chloe’s love.
It was truly amazing to be part of such a great program.” – Nathania, Chloe’s owner
You may have seen Tess at some of our Mayhew events over the past few years. She was a Border Collie who volunteered for TheraPaws for almost five years with her owner, Bill. Tess passed away in January of this year, almost making it to 15 years old.
“When I first read about TheraPaws (in a Sunday newspaper) two things struck me – how it was run by Mayhew (near to where we live), and how our dog Tess would be perfect for this kind of thing, being such a people-orientated animal, loving human interaction and often seeming to be quite ‘in tune’ with them. And so it proved over about five years of visits to care homes, hospices etc as with unfailing energy, patience, calm and enthusiasm she touched the hearts of so many people (not least my own…).” – Bill, Tess’ owner
Who could forget gentle giant Max? A labradoodle and brother to Lulu and Wally, Max spent 5 and a half years as a TheraPaws dog. Max had a short but wonderful life with his owner Flick and passed away in September 2019 at aged eight.
“It’s really hard to put anything about him into words without crying (which I am doing now). I miss him so much. It’s hard to write something so brief. It feels like he deserves more than that. He was larger than life. He had a huge personality and a huge body. All 45kgs of him. He had so many health challenges, but he loved life and he was the strongest, bravest, kindest, funniest and most loving dog you could meet. We rescued him from euthanasia and had five amazing years with him. Nearly all of that time he was a Therapaws dog.
He was an amazing dog. One of those ‘once in a lifetime’ dogs. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. He was born to be a therapy dog. He would fix you with those beautiful eyes and hold that direct gaze whilst making you feel like the only person in the world. But he did it to everybody! Everybody felt special. I loved watching people’s reaction to him. He won over so many people who were either scared of dogs or scared of big dogs. Nobody could stay scared of our gentle giant. And nobody could escape a snog if they were at his head height. The day he died was one of the worst days of my life. Thank you for paying tribute to him.” – Flick, Max’s owner
Monty was an adorable yellow Labrador who spent two years volunteering as a TheraPaws dog with his owner Deanne. After sharing a lot of love and cuddles, Monty sadly passed away last April at the grand age of 13.
“Monty and myself both thoroughly enjoyed our TheraPaws sessions. We could see the delight on people’s faces as they chatted away to us, whilst giving Monty lots of strokes and cuddles.
Like most Labradors, Monty was very treat orientated. One time when I dropped his lead, he found his own way down several corridors to the room of his favourite resident, who had a stash of dog chews. Monty is greatly missed.” – Deanne, Monty’s owner
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