Frankie has made many friends at Cedar Grange Residential and Nursing Home in Launceston. 

The 8-year-old dog makes weekly visits there with owner Louise Hopes and is more than happy to be stroked. He’ll even raise his paw in welcome.

Louise, from Rilla Mill, volunteers with Therapy Dogs Nationwide and Frankie wears the charity’s distinctive yellow neck scarf. 

“I used to have agility dogs, but Frankie is very calm and patient and needed something different to do,” said Louise. “Every therapy dog is assessed for temperamental suitability, and he passed with flying colours. 

“We visit Cedar Grange and Bodmin Hospital once a week. Frankie loves meeting people and seeing the impact he has is so rewarding.”

Cedar Grange is a former Cornwall Care home that is now run by award-winning Sanctuary Care. Glynis is a resident.

“I used to have Alsatians,” she said. “Frankie is a very soft dog and I really like seeing him.”

Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a national charity that currently has 1500 registered volunteers. Officially recognised by The Kennel Club, the aim is for volunteer’s dogs to provide comfort, distraction and stimulation.

“Frankie helps residents communicate their own memories and encourages interaction,” said Roxana Suhani, one of two activity coordinators at Cedar Grange. 

“His presence regularly sparks joy and reminiscence and that’s wonderful to watch.”

Getting to know individuals properly and helping them feel connected and engaged with the world around them is embedded in Sanctuary Care’s ethos of enriching lives.

“We want all our residents to enjoy life as fully as possible and that’s why our activity coordinators work hard to ensure there’s plenty of person-centred and group themed activities to create an inspiring place to live,” said Andrea Bacon, manager at Cedar Grange.

“Louise and her dog Frankie are very welcome weekly visitors and I’m very grateful to them for the time they spend here. It makes a big difference.”