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Zazu is top dog at Lynemore Care Home

By Gavin Musgrove

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Alexander Gibson and Joan Phillips with Zazu.
Alexander Gibson and Joan Phillips with Zazu.

RESIDENTS at a care home in Grantown have got a real spring in their step thanks to the arrival of a new four-legged staff member.

Lynemore Care Home on the town's Seafield Avenue has just taken on its latest recruit, a 19-week-old puppy.

Zazu, a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, has joined the Lynemore team as a Therapet and goes to work every day with owner Grant Hope, a handyman and gardener at the care home.

The pup spends her day playing with – and cuddling – residents and has also been a big hit with children from Grantown Playgroup, who pay a visit the care home every Tuesday.

Grant said: "I covered nearly 2500 miles travelling up and down the country to find the right puppy and eventually found Zazu in Derby.

"My long-term goal is to train Zazu as a Therapet.

"She comes into work with me every day and her training is coming on leaps and bounds.

"Introducing her to an environment like Lynemore is a great way to support her training and development."

Grant Hope and Zazu.
Grant Hope and Zazu.

Pet therapy is proven to reduce stress and anxiety and stimulate mental activity, and Grant believes Zazu is already making her mark.

Mr Hope said: "The residents love seeing Zazu and it's very rewarding for me and the rest of the team to see the positive impact she has on our residents. They have really taken to her."

Roslyn Munro, activities co-ordinator at Lynemore, said the residents loved seeing the puppy.

She said: "Zazu has literally bounced into our lives and has made Lynemore her second home. It's great to see the reaction of residents as she walks round with Grant.

"They smile, pet and praise her and reminisce about dogs in their lives. We are all seeing the difference in her too and like to watch her learn new tricks."

Although Parklands, which operates Lynemore, regularly welcomes animals into its care homes as part of its approach to care, this is the first time it has hosted a therapet on such a regular basis.

Parklands Group opened the 40-bed care, at a cost of £4.5 million, last September.

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