Pawsitive Treatment

03 Mar 2024
Our Purfect Duo

At nearly four years old, our cheese-loving Brussels Griffon is more than an adorable pet.

Being a therapy dog at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse since 2020, Remi has touched many hearts with her healing presence.

During COVID-19, our Volunteer Services Manager, Karen and Remi bonded quickly, leading to Remi finding not only a home but an important purpose.

Since Remi was just 12 weeks old, she has been visiting Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and

bringing joy to all. Not just any dog is suited to being a therapy dog. It requires a special temperament and personality. Recently, the duo completed a rigorous six months of training, proving their competence and receiving an official registration to practice their special method of holistic care. “It was a relief to know that we had passed. She had no idea what level of achievement she had done!” said Karen.

Distraction during treatments, alleviating needle phobia, and easing anxiety in waiting rooms are a few of her talents. Remi is a source of comfort and strength for many people. One elderly man,  hesitant about chemotherapy initially, found the strength to proceed as long as she was by his side.

Remi accompanied him to each appointment, often receiving treats and being showered with blessings. Volunteering on Tuesdays and Thursdays for ‘Remi’s Rounds’, she has shown abundant love, eliciting smiles and glowing feedback from patients and families. “Remi has a natural ability and can easily recognise who needs her support”, said Karen.

Even before she turned one, Remi significantly impacted patients’ wellbeing. One young patient appreciated Remi so much that she and her family hand made decorations for Remi’s upcoming birthday party. As a special surprise, Karen brought Remi in to surprise this patient on a Saturday, dressed in a hand-made party hat! Remi gives so much to others, and in return, we ensure her wellbeing is prioritised. She has an outdoor area in the hospital where she can have downtime, ensuring she is healthy and happy.

Karen has hinted at plans to bring more resident therapy dogs to share in Remi’s extraordinary mission. In the meantime, we have the wonderful Tara and Maple from Paws Pet Therapy who also offer unconditional love and support to our patients.

Whether snoring loudly on Karen’s lap during this interview or wandering on her rounds, Remi emanates comfort, love, and hope. Our sweet and smart resident pup, Remi, can’t wait to meet you.

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