Top Dogs is a therapy dog service that visits the elderly across Johannesburg to offer some companionship and bring joy to those in need.
Sunninghill, Johannesburg – Top Dogs – Therapy Dogs is an organisation that takes dogs to visit the elderly on a voluntary basis. This week they featured one of their hero pups who has a larger than life personality when she is running free but becomes the sweetest, most gentle dog when she puts on her therapy harness.
Hayley showed signs of being very gentle and sweet which led her family to consider her as a therapy dog.
“Hayley is known at home as Princess Poopy Pants and Hurricane Hayley. She is crazy hyper and is often seen running around the house with her younger labrador brother. If Hayley is quiet… it means trouble. But, put on her therapy dog jacket and she turns into a superhero.”
Hayley was born at the Ark Animal Centre in 2003. Her family took her for a breed test at MuttMix and it was found that she is a mix of 8 different breeds.
“The breeds that stand out in her personality are Dachshund and Cattle Dog. She is lively, energetic, loves water (which means her handler often has a wet dog in the house and usually when the floors have just been cleaned), she also has a superpower in that she loves hugs.”
“She was adopted in 2004 just after her handler had lost her dad – Hayley came into the family and hugged everyone better. In fact, a family member who previously only wanted cats in the house was converted to dogs after the hugs!!”
She has been working as a therapy dog for three years. She visits the Riverside Manor Retirement Estate monthly is famous for her dog hugs. Her best ability is to heal broken hearts.
Touch Our Pets Therapy Dogs, more commonly known as TOP Dogs has teams on the East Rand, Pretoria, Johannesburg North and the West Rand. Their primary objective is to provide comfort and companionship by sharing the dogs with those in hospitals, care facilities, other institutions such as schools and wherever else the Therapy Dogs are needed.
Therapy Dogs elevate the mood of a facility in general, with those being visited showing an increase in happiness, calmness, and overall emotional well-being.
Studies have shown that a person holding, petting or talking to an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, relief of stress and tension, and an easing of loneliness and depression.
Top Dogs is always looking to recruit handlers with suitable dogs so that we can reach more people in need. If you would like to find out more about the organisation you can contact them via Facebook here.
“The work we are doing is amazing. I have been working with them for 3 years and the organization is 10yrs old. We go into places which really need us! We work frail-cares, special needs schools, hospitals, orphanages, hospice, Teddy Bear Foundation and more!!! There is such an incredible need for us that we can hardly keep up.” – Diane Logie
Some of the places that receive these exciting visits are listed below. These are just a few of the places listed by Top Dogs.
- Montgomery Haven, Johannesburg
- Featherbrook Hills, Johannesburg
- BrainLife, Pretoria
- Nazareth House, Pretoria
- Care Cure Rehab, East Rand
- Benoni Old People, East Rand
Do you have a family member that has had the pleasure of meeting a therapy dog?