Greyhounds are bred with the intention of achieving great things on the racetrack, but many also have an enormous impact on people once their racing careers are over.
A wonderful example of this is Tiger, who was adopted late last year by Jacqui D’Altera of Geelong.
Jacqui has put Tiger through the Delta Therapy Dog program, which allows him to be recognised as a therapy dog and visit people in hospitals or care facilities.
In mid March Tiger went to his first aged care facility – Eden Park in Geelong – as a Delta Therapy Dog.
“He was absolutely fantastic and the residents (at Eden Park) loved him” Jacqui says. “I cried after our first visit – I had never expected such a positive response, and underestimated Tiger’s intuition. He was so calm and gentle.”
Jacqui recalled than one particular resident, a lady in an elevated chair, took a while to acknowledge that Tiger and Jacqui were in the room. However, once she realised it didn’t take long for Tiger to make a connection.
“I cried after our first visit – I had never expected such a positive response, and underestimated Tiger’s intuition. He was so calm and gentle.”
“The lady put her hand down to get Tiger’s attention, which Tiger immediately went over to sniff.”
“We put one of his ears between her fingers so that she could feel how soft they were and even though she couldn’t talk, Tiger had managed to capture her attention and connect with her,” she said.
Tiger now makes regular visits to Eden Park, where his popularity continues to grow.
“He prances in, tail wagging and works his magic. There are pats, cuddles and kisses – even from the staff and management. He is starting to become quite a celebrity!”
“It is extremely hard to explain the impact that Tiger has on these residents. It is beautiful to watch him interacting with them, and for a high dependency facility, they are extremely gentle.”
With Tiger’s progress impressing Delta staff, not only through the way he behaves but also how gentle he is, we are sure Tiger has a long career in helping bring the love that a beautiful greyhound can provide to many more people who need it most.
Jacqui D’Altera and Tiger in their Delta uniforms.