August 11 2017

Dave, one of our original dementia therapy dogs, retires this summer after eight and a half years bringing joy, companionship and his special listening ear to Alzheimer’s Support’s day clubs.

Dave, believed to be about 13, went from being a badly treated rescue dog to being one of the most popular members of the team in our  clubs in Devizes and Trowbridge.

First with his partner Monty and more recently with Higby, he spent four days a week in the clubs alongside his owner Grant Newton, Head of Day Care Services at Alzheimer's Support.

Grant said: "Over the years Dave has brought great joy, relaxation and that all-important sense of normality to club members. He has done an amazing job. He is one of the most kind, gentle and laid back dogs you could have the privilege to meet and also well known for being able to sleep for England!"

Dave, who has arthritis and starting to lose the power in his rear legs, will now spend his time at home with Grant’s wife Karen but will still drop into the clubs occasionally.

Dave and his canine colleagues' work with people with dementia has sparked interest in the media, academia, and most recently from royalty when he was introduced to HRH Prince Edward at a reception to showcase the work of the University of Bath. 

One of Dave’s final jobs before his well-earned rest will be to help train up his replacement, nine-month-old Dottie.

She too is a rescue whippet adopted by Grant and Karen. And judging by her first few sessions in the clubs, she promises to be as popular, patient and photogenic as her predecessors.