The children at Xavier Respite Service in Yeerongpilly love it when Drogo, an eight-year-old Siberian Husky, is around. Find out more about this dog that has captured the hearts of the children and their families.
Drogo is a Siberian husky that works as a pet therapy dog, often visiting the facility as part of its new pet therapy initiative. Despite his large size, Drogo is very gentle towards kids–he would wag his fluffy tail against them, put his chin on their leg or their hand, and stay at their feet.
Ms Cheryl Laurent, coordinator at Xavier Respite Service, found it lovely, because Drogo provides a calming influence more than just giving the children tactile experiences.
Pet therapy dogs like Drogo are also sometimes called “comfort dogs.” These dogs enjoy human contact and they are known for their friendly and confident behaviour.
Drogo’s owner is a volunteer at Delta Society, a non-profit organisation that provides the therapy dog program in hospitals, aged care facilities, youth services, mental health services, correctional facilities, and other health and community services right across Australia.
The pet therapy program at Xavier is an initiative of June McLeish of Burleigh Heads Parish. She was inspired to launch the initiative because of her dog Pinky, her constant companion and one of her greatest joys.
For the first time in April 2022, Ms McLeish saw Drogo interacting with children and it made her feel glad that she started a pet therapy initiative at the centre.
Enoch and Lachlan, two of the children who receive care from Xavier, gave Ms McLeish a gift, thanking her for setting up the program.
Ms McLeish is looking forward to seeing more therapy dogs in action, especially now that people start to realise what peace and tranquillity they can offer to people in unhappy circumstances.