30 Nov Georgia the greyhound a very pampered resident
by Wendy Andrews (‘Coffs Coast Advocate’)
There’s a two-seater sofa covered in dog hair at Uniting Pacifica and it’s reserved for one special resident. Georgia the greyhound, also known as “the lounge lizard”, has free rein of level three at this aged care home in Nambucca Heads and her favourite spot is the sofa by the window in the communal area.
“Georgia is a good diversion and excellent company for our residents,” said Jackie Duncan, lifestyle coordinator and “greyhound wrangler” at Uniting Pacifica Nambucca.
It was the residents of Uniting Pacifica, with the full blessing and support of staff and management, who decided they wanted a communal pet.
“After the residents had their meeting, we contacted GAP (Greyhounds as Pets), based in Newcastle,” Jackie said.
“They sent photos of suitable dogs for us to choose from. We are on three levels here, which had to be taken into consideration. The residents called another meeting and decided on Georgia.”
What followed was a nine-week trial period where Georgia was put through her paces to see if her new home would be a good fit. Part of that program was exposing her to everything from walkers to wheelchairs and also an introduction to Felix, the aged care home’s resident cat, who was dumped on the doorstep as a kitten.
“We integrated Georgia slowly, taking her home at night until she was ready to move in full time. She has been part of the furniture ever since,” Jackie said.
“Georgia has so much to give. It can be such an emotional void for residents when they have to leave their animals behind. For many residents, especially the animal lovers, Georgia helps to fill that void.”
While Georgia is the communal pet and enjoys pats and cuddles from many of the residents, it is dog lover Janette who is her bestie.
Janette is living with dementia and is a long-term resident at Uniting Pacifica. She took an immediate shine to Georgia and the two have become inseparable. “Georgia is such a darling, a beautiful girl with a lovely nature,” Janette said. “She loves her home comforts and is the best thing that ever happened to us. Some residents thought a greyhound would be too big for here, but she is so gentle and loving and just won everyone over. More people should consider adopting greyhounds, they are a wonderful breed.”
Most days, Jackie and Georgia have an early morning walk – first through the aged care home, where Georgia usually makes a beeline for Felix’s cat food, then it’s down the street to town, where they are becoming a welcome sight with locals.
“She’s becoming quite well known in the community,” Jackie said. “We just got her a little purple Uniting jacket so she’s really part of the team.”
It’s hard to know who got the better deal out of this adoption, Georgia or the residents.
This article originally appeared in the ‘Coffs Coast Advocate’. Watch a video of Georgia.