For Mary Ehle, her dogs Chester and King are a constant source of happiness.
“I just love everything about dogs,” says Ehle.
“I love getting out for walks with them, I love giving them little head rubs.”
But when Ehle suffered an injury, making sure her dogs got their exercise became a challenge.
“I adopted Chester when he was young and he was a bit de-conditioned and out of shape,” says Ehle.
“He needed his exercise, so I overdid it and only two weeks after adopting him my Achilles tendon went on me and so I couldn’t walk.”
That’s when ElderDog came to the rescue. The non-profit pairs seniors with volunteers who help them care for their pets.
“I was worried if I could even keep Chester if I couldn’t walk him,” says Ehle.
“With them stepping in to help out they sent two sets of volunteers and it was enough to get me through [it].”
The experience is just as rewarding for the volunteers.
“The owners are lovely people, they’re in need because they want to keep their pets,” says volunteer Rob Dalrymple.
“It’s important for them to keep their pets for their mental stability and mental goodness.”
“You’re doing something for your community and enabling people to keep their pets that they maybe would not have been able to keep,” says fellow volunteer Judy Kazman.
ElderDog Victoria is currently looking for more volunteers. To learn more about the program, visit the ElderDog Facebook page.