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29 October 2014
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Mary Jane sitting with her dogs
Mary Jane sitting with her dogs

Doggy therapy

by Mary Jane Kingsland
Mary Jane was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a few years ago. She's still not fully recovered but she believes her dogs have helped get her that bit closer to full health.

The Oldies Club

The Oldies Club began life in March 2005, when a group of like-minded dog lovers and rescue volunteers saddened by the plight of older dogs in rescue set up the group.

With close to 200 volunteers nationwide, offering their services as transporters, canine foster carers, fundraisers, Oldies offer a valuable second chance to older dogs who would otherwise have to spend their remaining lives without a proper home.

The reality is, older dogs often struggle to find new homes; potential adopters can be put off by worries over vet bills, life span, temperament, history and many other queries. While, in truth, older dogs can be a wonderful addition to any household - they already 'know the ropes' of domestic living, aren't as demanding as puppies, and often have many healthy, active years ahead of them.

The Oldies Club do not maintain a central kennels; dogs are assessed and cared for by one of our volunteer fosterers, in their own home, until a permanent home is found.

Many adopters find their 'perfect match' through the Oldies Club website, where our dogs and those of other rescues are advertised, and many people who have adopted dogs from the Oldies Club have gone on to become loyal supporters and active volunteers.

Extract from the Oldies Club May 2006

"I was diagnosed with ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  in 1998. At the time I thought I would never do anything again, said Mary Jane Kingsland.

Watch this film by Mary Jane Kingsland

"It was so difficult to get out of bed, let alone leave the house. I couldn’t take exercise, I couldn’t do any of the things I enjoyed doing before.

"Luckily for me, over time, I started to gradually get a little better and a couple of years ago, I was able to take on Max (the dog). He helped me in so many ways that I could not have envisaged owning a dog would.

"All of a sudden there was another living creature here, that I had to look after. Another living thing who needed to be walked, who needed to be played with, needed his exercise, even if I was tired, even if I felt terrible, and I was in pain.

"And gradually over time I started to get that bit better. In the two years that Max and Hector (other dog) I do believe that owning dogs, being with dogs has really started to improve my health.

"I started to feel that I could be useful again, that I could do things and it was around that point that I thought I should do something to help (dogs).

"I got involved with the Oldies Club, a national organisation for rescuing and re-homing elderly dogs through the internet.

"A lot of people think with elderly dogs you haven’t got long, they’ll be health problems, they’re not going to be as rewarding as a puppy or as a young dog.

"I don’t think that’s true. Older dogs are really, really rewarding. There is so much to be said for looking after them and for everything that you get back from an elderly dog, from giving an elderly dog that second chance.

"That’s what motivated me to help and what continues to motivate me," said Mary Jane Kingsland.

video Doggie Therapy by Mary Jane Kingsland >
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last updated: 02/02/07
 
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Has an animal help change your life for the better? Tell us about the experience.
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Loretta Stevens
I also had a neurological disorder and chronic fatigue. I visited the animal shelter and got a small, very sick Shih Tzu. I named him Gizzie ( an original name..ha) he changed by life one day at a time. I went from bedridden to almost fully functional. He would take 3 or 4 steps then wait for me. He was 7 mos old, Pure bred and oh so smart. He never went any further than just a few steps ahead of me from day one. To make a long story short, I just had 4 beautiful puppies, shih tzus. He is squiring a full show coat and is a wonderful watch dog. He changed my life. He was so sick that they would not neuter him. He almost died of kennel cough then came down with mange mites the dr said was acuired at the shelter. After three long months and $1500 later I had a well boy. He is my angel, period. Angels come in differenct packages. I can prove it because I have one. Have a great day!
Fri Apr 20 16:27:25 2007

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