A cheeky therapy dog has been bringing a smile to the faces of people with dementia at a Malvern centre.

Golden Retriever Monty, who newly accredited Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, has been visiting Friends of the Elderly’s Malvern Day Care since November 2021.

Monty’s owner, Craig Macbeth, had been wanting to register Monty as a PAT dog for a while, and thought that visiting the charity’s Malvern Day Care and interacting with the clients, would be a great, gentle way to start Monty’s PAT trainee training journey.

“Monty is extremely affectionate and has such a caring nature,” said Shirley Bradley, the head of day care services at Friends of the Elderly.

“When I spoke to Craig about Monty becoming a regular visitor, we both agreed it would be an ideal fit that would not only benefit Monty and help his PAT career, but also bring so many benefits to our clients who are living with dementia.”

Monty has been visiting Malvern Day Care since November 2021 and has become a fast favourite with the clients.

Shirley continued: “Our clients really seem to love Monty’s visits. He makes them smile and makes them happy. When he goes into the room, you can feel the atmosphere get even more upbeat, he has such a calming influence and the room lights up.

"To be honest, it also has to do with Craig as well as he is so approachable and likeable, the clients are comfortable with him and chat away gaily.

“We have one lady who just beams when Monty comes to visit. Some clients remember Monty’s name and we love to hear that they remember this week on week.

"Another of our clients is a lady who is non-verbal and has sensory needs, but she really does seem to enjoy Monty’s visits.

"Her eyes follow him around the room and her hand instinctively reaches out to stroke him when he’s near her. It’s so lovely to see how his visits are so positive for her.”