How one pooch is sharing the love
THEY say dogs are a human's best friend, but for little Maizy, she doesn't limit herself to just one.
Popular and adorable, the five-year-old Maltese cross is a trained therapy dog from Miss Maizy's Pet Therapy.
Before the Australian Government implemented new visitor restrictions at retirement homes, Maizy was visiting Carinity Kepnock Grove once a month, to offer love and comfort to residents.
Owner Leanne Pearce said it was easy to adore Maizy, as she is very loving and has a cheeky nature.
" (Maizy) has a few tricks to show and loves the attention when visiting aged care homes," Ms Pearce said.
"A visit from a four-legged friend brings joy and many people who are normally unresponsive to other therapies may brighten up and chat with a dog."
Maizy became a certified therapy dog after she underwent a temperament assessment.
Ms Pearce said the response to Maizy's visit has been very positive, as her presence makes residents happy and creates social interaction.
"Pets offer a comforting presence, especially dogs (and) they decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation," Ms Pearce said.
Some reactions are that of elation and excitement, to tears of joy at being able to pet and cuddle a fluffy little dog."
The retirement village's residential manager Jodie Little said dog therapy was so successful that it had been implemented across many of the organisation's sites.
"Carinity aged care communities across Queensland use animal-assisted therapy, which has both physical and psychological benefits for our residents," Ms Little said.
"Animals including dogs such as Maizy can help to improve residents' health and wellbeing and social interaction, with residents often sharing stories about pets they had in their younger years."
For more information about pet therapy, visit missmaizypettherapy.com.