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Rocky, a 10 year old Jack Russell has made himself right at home with his owner Tony in Yarriambiack Lodge. Originally scheduled for some respite care, Tony has now become a permanent resident at Yarriambiack Lodge with the condition that Rocky came with him.

Rural Northwest Health supports the view that pets have a therapeutic and homelike value in residential care homes. Relocating to an aged care facility can be a major step for residents and the ability to bring their beloved pet with them can aid in the transition process. Rural Northwest Health ensure that all necessary plans and supports are in place for both the resident and their pet while also minimising the potential hazards a pet can cause.

Originally from Western Australia, Tony purchased farm land in the area and relocated many years ago. Rocky came to Tony at age 7 when his original owner could no longer care for him. Rocky has cataracts however he has managed to find his way around the lodge and now knows exactly where his room is.

‘Rocky loves to play with his ball and has even made friends with my new neighbours. He has his own kennel set up beside my bed and he enjoys going outside for a run around. Rocky and I are a package deal’ explained Tony.

Nurse Unit Manager Allison Hondow said ‘On his arrival at the Lodge, Rocky was all set up to sleep outside in a dedicated area, unfortunately the new surroundings and missing Tony saw him barking for most of the night. We reassessed the situation in the morning and created a new environment within Tony’s room for Rocky’.

The other residents have welcomed Rocky into their lives and even Tammy, the resident cat has accepted him into the home.

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