Sheila Griffiths who recently moved into HC-One’s Stoneleigh Care Home in Annfield Plain, has recently found a new furry friend.

Sheila who moved into the residential and residential dementia care home in February 2024, needed a little extra support when settling into the home. Sheila’s family, with help from colleagues at Stoneleigh arranged to try Pet Therapy through Wag & Company.

Wag & Company are a charity organisation who offer a befriending service for dog lovers, in the North East of England.

Pet therapy was brought in for Sheila to try and support her with loneliness and to help her settle into Stoneleigh. Sheila was delighted to meet Ebony, the tiniest of dogs and she instantly fell in love with her and really wanted to keep her.

Ebony is the smallest visitor Stoneleigh has welcomed, and her owner Rebecca is lovely too. Pet therapy is excellent for dementia residents who have previously had their own pets, as it provides the opportunity for residents to reminisce about fond memories from times spent with their own pets.

After the session ended, Ebony’s owner came to tell Stoneleigh colleagues and residents all about the services available at Wag & Company and an agreement was made that every fortnight Rebecca would bring Ebony to see Sheila and other residents.

The service is free with support provided by volunteers who are willing to spread a little happiness to those who would find comfort with the love from a therapy dog.

Sheila had the best time when Ebony came to visit, she said to Rebecca, Ebony’s owner:

“I really like her; can I keep her please?”

Susan Dodds, Home Manager at HC-One’s Stoneleigh Care Home, commented:

“Thank you to Rebecca at Wag & Company for bringing in Ebony to meet Sheila and help her settle into her new home here at Stoneleigh Care Home.   

“Our residents love pet therapy sessions and it has a number of positive benefits for our residents including improving their wellbeing.”