Elderdog: 6 Years of Support
By Hilary Graham
Elderdog is a national non-profit registered charity, and was started approximately 6 years ago by Dr. Ardra Cole from Lunenburg County. Dr. Cole is a professor at Mount St. Vincent University and assistant dean of education.
Since its beginning, Elderdog has grown to 18 pawds (chapters), including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta. Elderdog relies entirely on fundraising and donations to support our work, and we are 100% volunteer run. There are no fees for any Elderdog supports and services.
Do you know a senior who has a valued canine companion? Elderdog can help in so many ways, with day-to-day care, walking, grooming, and visits to the vet. Elderdog can also help to re-home a much-beloved pet, should the occasion arise. I have been a professional caregiver for 5 years, and, during that time, I have seen how much a dog can add to someone’s quality of life, particularly an elderly person who would otherwise be on their own. Sometimes, an older person may have mobility issues, or even spend some time in the hospital, and, if there are no family members who can undertake the care of a dog, Elderdog can help. We have a network of wonderful volunteers, many of whom are seniors themselves, who will provide a comfortable, caring home for these dogs until their owners are in a position to welcome them home again. These dogs need the comfort, warmth, and personal attention that home care provides, and that may be lacking in kennel care.
I am a volunteer with Elderdog, as well as a member, and I also provide a foster home for dogs that need that bridge between their previous home and a new one that will welcome them as part of their family. Some of the dogs are “oldies,” but an older dog can be a wonderful companion. Sometimes, all they ask is for a quiet putter in the garden, food, warmth, and, of course, unconditional love, which they will return tenfold. There’s always the possibility that you may fail as a foster-caregiver and become an adopter instead, it happened to me! I took in a little pug/terrier mix called Ginger, who needed a new home, and she and my bichon, Maxine, became such good buddies that I decided to make her stay with us a permanent one. They both share the sofa with me and join me in cheering on Roger Federer (we are all tennis fans).
If you know someone who needs help caring for their dog, an older dog who needs rehoming, or are interested in volunteering, please contact us at Elderdog: firstname.lastname@example.org, or check us out on Facebook: facebook.com/elderdogkings.