Formerly House with No Steps and The Tipping Foundation

Puppy love

Meet the fluffy companion animals bringing cheer to our customers during COVID-19.

Goldie barks, wags his tail and loves a good pat, but he’s no ordinary golden retriever puppy.

You see, Goldie is a robotic companion dog. He’s designed to provide companionship to people with disabilities and medical conditions, like dementia.

Where it all started

Our Victorian customer Kevin’s love of animals – especially dogs – is well-known by the team at our supported accommodation.

Kevin enjoys visiting Melbourne Zoo and Collingwood Children’s Farm. He also volunteered at the local pound, walking the dogs and giving them lots of love and attention.

However, owning a dog wasn’t an option for Kevin due to the risk of falls, so the team came up with an innovative idea. They helped Kevin look online for a robotic companion dog; finding the perfect one – a golden retriever called Goldie.

“Kevin has previously walked many golden retrievers so this purchase of a golden pup was fitting,” says House Supervisor, Lauren Jakowenko.
Goldie was an instant hit!”

“The minute Kevin saw and held his dog, he couldn’t stop grinning and patting it,” she adds.

Love at first sight

Cathy with her cat, tears on her face

And Kevin’s not the only one to receive a new furry friend! Above is the exact moment our customer Cathy received her new therapy cat!

The cat, named Woodrow, is designed to support Cathy with her anxiety and panic attacks.

Woodrow is weighted so he acts as a sensory tool to support anxiety management. He’s fluffy and lifelike to provide a calm and comforting companion. And, of course, he’s very cute!

“I love how this photo captures her emotion. She cried she was so happy,” says Yvonne Fuller, Team Leader.

If you’re on the hunt for a companion animal, you can find a range of them on the Dementia Shop Australia website.