REGENCY Park has a new resident and she is already proving to be the most popular girl in the village.
Marley the maltese-cross has taken up digs at the retirement village for residents who want a pet without all the responsibility.
Village policy allows residents to bring existing pets with them when they move in, however no new pets are allowed.
Marley, who was rescued from an animal shelter, gives the residents the opportunity to walk a pet, bathe it and shower it with love... with no strings attached.
There are no medical bills, no feeding responsibilities - other than the stray piece of sausage she scores from residents' plates - and no need to find a pet sitter when heading off on holidays.
Resident Graeme Parkinson said Marley was a great companion, especially since he had been widowed just months ago.
"I think it is great to have her here. I like to take her for walks and we go around the block and I introduce her to everyone," he said.
Mr Parkinson said Marley had even been the guest of honour at village barbecues and had spent time socialising with the other 10 pets of residents.
Village employee Jodie Bygroves often took Marley to visit residents and said the pooch was happy to comply with the residents' ideas about what to do together.
"I take her around to meet the residents and a lot of them just enjoy the company of Marley," she said.
"I went to pick her up from a resident's home one afternoon and I peeked in the back door and here they were asleep on the couch together.
"So I just left them there together for a while longer."
Regency Park assistant manager Noo Shepherd said residents had taken to their new friend extremely well and enjoyed playing an active role in her care.
"Residents have responded very positively to Marley and there have been lots of walks, treats and bath times," she said. "She is definitely a lap dog."
Marley spends each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday being pampered by residents.
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