A PAW-FECT PAIRING: Johnno Felton with his assistance dog Dixie
A PAW-FECT PAIRING: Johnno Felton with his assistance dog Dixie

Dogs help Warwick locals through ‘ruff’ times

NEW studies revealed that owning a pet can lower stress levels and improve people’s quality of life, a finding that local Veteran Johnno Felton wholeheartedly agrees with.

Johnno’s assistance dog Dixie, has been his companion for seven years now getting him through some hard times.

“When you’ve got a mental illness, they’re so wonderful and know when you’re down.

“When I’m in a stressful situation she cuddles up to me and she’s so loving but also very protective,” he said.

The popularity of canine companions, whether they are official assistance dogs or not, is undeniable.

“She gets her own pew down at the Anglican Church and now everyone else is trying to bring their dogs on Sundays,” Johnno said.

Headspace Warwick manager Travis Maguire recognises the benefits a dog’s presence can provide for stress levels.

“We used to have Crunch, she wasn’t an officially trained mental health dog but she would put a lot of people at ease in the waiting room,” he said.

Johnno says ever since he’s had Dixie his quality of life has definitely improved.

“The fact that she’s always under my bed and got my back, you’d never think of suicide or anything like that, when you’ve got a mate like this.”



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