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We’ve been having regular visits from Thunder the therapy husky.

Thunder is specially trained to show empathy to people around him. He is like a big teddy bear, so soft and cuddly, so there are no nerves from our residents about petting him and playing with him.

Thunder belongs to a family of huskies owned by Adrian and Claire, who’s fathers have both been diagnosed with dementia. They realised that Thunder was reacting differently to their Dads in the early stages of their condition.

Adrian says: “Thunder knew beforehand. When my dad first started to forget things, he would kiss him and sit at his feet.”

Petting animals has been proven to reduce stress and even lower blood pressure. As well as the physical health benefits, contact with Thunder helps remind our residents of much-loved family pets from the past, and sparks many happy memories and conversations.