dog therapy
Credit: Top Dogs - Therapy Dogs / Facebook

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 (19 February 2019) – 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 who has had the pleasure of meeting a therapy dog?

Sources: Facebook / Good Things Guy Interview
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *