We are a community of dog owners and dog lovers and we simply want to reduce loneliness and lift spirits in older dog lovers by providing a friend and a much missed dog.
Visiting "Wag Teams"
Many people have lost friends and family as they have got older and at the same time they have found themselves unable to care for a dog. Some are profoundly lonely, unwell and socially isolated and desperately miss the friends they have lost, two legged and four legged; with Wag & Company they get both.
Our volunteers and the people they visit immediately have something in common, they are all dog lovers and they have all been dog owners. Our volunteers have immediate empathy, understanding completely what it must be like to lose a dog and to live without one. These relationships often move into meaningful friendships – sharing Christmases together, the Strictly Final, days out, birthdays, important moments, bereavements – simply becoming real friends.
No other charity visits the elderly at home with dogs and many of the agencies that offered ordinary befriending services in our region, have moved to telephone services or no services at all. We believe that enabling our physical visits is a necessary community service, we also believe, as do the Healthcare Trust, that not only can we improve the quality of people's lives but their health as well.
David Dawson, Older Persons Specialist at Northumbria Healthcare Trust says: "My background is secondary care, i.e. tablets, machines, doctors, nurses, treatment plans, data. All very important to staying well and reducing frailty/ vulnerability. But the work that you are doing in Wag is JUST as important. Because when people are lonely and isolated, it is next to impossible to stay well."