Canine calendar to boost Dementia Dogs Project

An award-winning Scottish pet accessory company is set to raise funds for the life-changing canines of the Dementia Dog Project.

Dogrobes are set to launch a new 2020 calendar which they hope will help to raise vital funds for a new pioneering charity that provides assistance dogs for families where a person has a diagnosis of dementia.

They will also be supplying one of their practical dog drying coats to every dog that qualifies as a Dementia Assistance Dog once they have completed their training.

The Dementia Dog Project is a collaboration between Alzheimer Scotland and Dogs for Good, combining professional expertise to pilot and develop new services for people living with dementia. The project is funded by charitable donations and explores how trained dogs can help people live well with dementia – both at home through their assistance dog programme, and to promote independent living through their community dog therapy programme.

Dementia Assistance Dogs receive two years of specialised training and are then placed full time at home, where one person is living with an early stage diagnosis of dementia and lives with their full-time carer. Following a successful match to an applicant family, the charity then tailor the dog’s skills to their specific needs, providing highly tailored assistance to help support their daily routine of waking, eating, taking medication, exercise, socialisation and sleeping patterns.

Dogrobes is based in Fochabers, and owned by Margaret Reynolds, a former marketing and events manager.

She decided to get involved in the Dementia Dog Project following the death of her father who suffered with Alzheimer’s. She saw how much her Toy Poodle, Missie had helped him through the difficult days and the project struck a chord with her.

She said: ‘I knew Dogrobes could make a difference to the day-to-day lives of the carers and the dogs and we wanted to help. Using Dogrobes would save the carer time drying the dog and cleaning up the wet, muddy shake off, as well as providing a talking point. Plus the dogs would be warm and dry in no time!

‘We have now provided all the Dementia Assistance Dogs with Dogrobes but when we found out the future of the project was at stake due to lack of funding, we knew we had to do more.

‘So, we have made The Dementia Dog Project our charity of the year for 2019/20 and decided to produce a charity calendar to raise even more
funds. We asked our customers and followers to send in photos of their dogs for a competition and the winning dogs are featured on each page of the calendar.’

Fiona Corner, project manager for Dementia Dogs added: ‘Daily routines can be a secure anchor for families as the condition progresses; the dog acting as a household reminder can really help take some weight and worry off partners and carers.

‘We have also seen how the dog can help families start each day with a smile, and help them cope and feel more resilient to the daily challenges associated with living with dementia. We are absolutely delighted to receive this generous support from Dogrobes which will
help to keep this worthwhile and vital project going.’

The Dementia Dog Project is currently being piloted in central Scotland and three other areas in England (Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire).

The Dementia Dog calendar is A4 (page a month), made from quality, heavyweight paper with a sturdy card backboard and features 26 winning dogs. The cost of £7.95 (2 for £14) includes post and packing. All profits (£5.50 from every calendar sold) will go to the Dementia Dog Project.

The calendar is only available from Dogrobes  or by calling 0800 151 3188.

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