Wag Volunteer Pat Gales tells why she joined Wag and highly recommends it!

Pat Gales visits a lady in her own home near Blyth with Friendship Dog Tweed.  She’s been a fantastic Wag volunteer for an number of years now and she highly recommends it!

“In 2018 I first became aware of ‘Wag and Company Northeast Friendship Dogs’ when I heard our founder Diane Morton talking on Radio Newcastle about the Charity.  I was so excited hearing Diane talk and I knew straight away I had the right dog and together we could join a great, growing team of amazing people and dogs.

I had retired from Northumbria Police as a Dog handler, and I had missed the camaraderie of working with dogs and likeminded people.  We applied and Tweed my young black Labrador flew through the tests. Wag & Co then matched us with a nursing home near where we live.  To see the sheer joy that Tweed brought to the elderly was amazing, I swear I didn’t exist, he was the star of the show.

Diane then contacted me to see if we could test my German Shepherd Ned as they had an elderly partially sighted lady called Felicity who was desperate for a GSD to visit her in her own home. Ned flew through the tests, and we began visiting, it was a brilliant match.  Ned was so big Felicity never tripped over him once – although we did have a few anxious moments!!

Felicity has sadly passed away and her family asked if we would attend the funeral.  Sadly, Ned had also passed away so Tweed attended both the church and the pub after, as a valued member of the family.

Tweed is my only Wag Dog at the moment and apart from the nursing home,  we now visit a lady called Freda in her own home, and again we all look forward to our visits.  I have a young Labrador called River who I am hoping to get qualified as a Friendship Dog when he’s old enough. 

If I had any worries about volunteering it was my inability to use modern technology, but I need not have feared as I have a good friend called Lynne who helps with sending any emails to the team.  In return, the team, who laugh at my dinosaur abilities with technology are happy to pick up the phone and talk me through any problems…always with a laugh and plenty of banter!

Don’t be put off, if you love to chat, have a good sociable dog and love drinking tea or coffee, go for it! You won’t regret it.”

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