Pets as Therapy

"The Caring Companion scheme is a Federal Government initiative to bring a little joy into the lives of elderly residents of nursing homes in Australia, by giving them contact with friendly dogs when they can not have their own animals with them."

"Freya at 10 months"

freya nursing home.JPG (32417 bytes)Nearly three years ago I read an advertisement in the South Australian Canine Journal requesting volunteers with their dogs to join the "Caring Canine Scheme" . At the next show I went and spoke to the organiser Josephine Eatts from The Golden Retriever Club of SA Inc. She explained how the scheme worked and said that there was an information leaflet that she would send  to me and some forms if I wished to participate.

In the leaflet it explained the dogs had to be "a well behaved, clean, people loving canine companion". So far that sounded just like my I read on. Any breed could make a successful visitor, as long as they are people friendly, responsive & happy, clean and well groomed, preferably well socialised and used to being indoors, without being boisterous. In some rooms the dogs  are required to dodge, wheelchairs or frames, beds, chairs other furniture   and medical equipment, for this reason the must be used to being indoors. 
Obedience training is desirable but not essential, and the odd party trick like 
shaking hands always brings a smile.

"Kyle enjoying a pat"

The closing statement reads: A dog that is attentive, responsive to and interested in people, well behaved, obedient, clean, friendly and happy without being boisterous, whether small or large, has a place in our Scheme Team" .......So far so good I decided to give it a go!

My first visit was a very nervous one, I had been given the name of the activities director, who was going to show me around. I was the first person to "visit" the nursing home so it was new experience for us all. After meeting with the director and several of the nurses they decided Kyle was just what they were looking for. Now for the residents......the first one we met was almost 90, he was in a wheelchair in the sunroom, with his wife at his side. He was silent and not reacting at all to the world around him. The nurse introduced Kyle and I to him. Kyle walked straight up to him and placed his head on his lap. With that he smiled...... the nurse said she wished she had camera. It was not until we were away from the pair she explained how she had not seen him smile for months, most of the time he did communicate he was wishing to die. It nearly brought a tear to my eyes, what had seemed a simple little smile was much much more important. Kyle had made a difference to this man if only for a minute. 

"Freya having a cuddle"

Freya nursing home 1.JPG (31811 bytes)Since that day I have taken five dogs to the home on different days, Britta, her son Kyle, and his daughter Freya are my most common visitors, all are well loved by the residents and the nurses.

Visiting the homes is a rewarding pastime, although some days can be tough, the joy you are bringing the residents far out ways the sad days. Large Munsterlanders do make good visitors, but you need to match the correct dog with the situation, often older Munsters are better as they are more settled, however youngsters such as Freya go well if they are started early, Freya's first visit was at 16 weeks, now she is a veteran. 

If you are interested in either becoming part of the scheme or getting a dog to visit a nursing home more details can be gained by contacting the Golden Retriever Club of SA inc, for South Australians. Similar schemes would be held in most states of Australia. Details of these clubs should be available from the Canine Association in that state. 

For more information click on the Caring Canine Companions logo under the pictures of Kyle.

More pictures of Kyle:

Kyle - Dorothy.JPG (48861 bytes)        Kyle - Cyril.JPG (62765 bytes)      Kyle - Lance 2.JPG (35356 bytes)

Golden Retriever Club of SA Inc - Caring Companion scheme. 

cvsdog.jpg (21570 bytes)



cvslogo1[1].jpg (6390 bytes)

A Federal Government initiative, funded for residents of approved nursing homes


For further detailed information the contact is
Mrs Josephine Eatts, P.O. Box 704, Willunga, SA 5172,
fax/phone (08) 8556 2592, email



Page Title                                  Last Updated

Breed Standard                                  11th April 2001Kyle_and_Alex_2.JPG (120373 bytes)

Breed History                                      18th April 2001

Living with a Large Munsterlander     4th May 2001

About Mistypoint Kennels                   11th April 2001

Meet my dogs                                    25th February 2002

Next litter due                                    30th April 2002

Roll of Honor                                      1st Sept 2001

How titles are gained in Australia      13th August 2001

More Munsterlander Pictures              4th May 2001

Group pictures                                    26th January 2002

Pets as therapy                                   19th April 2001

Agility Photo's                                     4th May 2001

Retrieving & Field                               29th April 2001

Obedience Photo's                             21st October 2001 

Previous litters                                   13th August 2001

Xmas Pictures                                    11th April 2001

Small Munsterlander                          18th April 2001

Links                                                   13th August 2001

Guestbook                                           4th May 2001

Web Rings                                          11th April 2001


Please note the pictures I have used are mostly ones that I own, or have taken at shows. Other photos I have been given permission to use (if they were not my photo's) either by having the photo sent to me or copying it from the persons website. There are some photo's of dogs I particularly like that I have also included, if you own these dogs in question and do not wish them to be included please let me know & I will remove the picture immediately. Also if I have included a picture of your dog I have taken at a show and you want it updated with a picture you prefer please send it to me and I will change over the photo.  If I have listed your dogs name in the Roll of Honor and you wish to add a photo e-mail me a jpeg picture or e-mail me for my postal address.   

Should you wish to use any pictures included on these pages (unless you own the dog) please contact me before copying them.  The little "Munster on point"  was created by and is owned by Tracie Edwards. 

All details included in the breed history has been gained from reading many articles, and collating the most common reports. Should you feel you have a more accurate recount of the breeds history please contact me so I can rectify any errors.