Allora Homestead resident Doc Crowley with “best friend
Allora Homestead resident Doc Crowley with “best friend" Georgie. Glyn Rees

Georgie is everyone's best friend

EVIDENCE of the cliché “a dog is man’s best friend” can be seen on a daily basis at Allora’s Homestead aged persons’ hostel, and not just man’s best friend, everyone’s best friend.

Twelve-month-old fluffy white Shih Tzu/Maltese cross Georgie is among the more popular residents at the Homestead, the facility’s pet therapy, with the large majority of residents enjoying the little dog’s company.

Georgie is a close confidant of 104-year-old Isabella Glanders, and a very best friend of former far west stockman Doc Crowley.

Oddly enough, the little dog has developed a special bond with Doc, with him an important part in what is Georgie’s daily routine.

Carer Tania Wilson says Georgie is great company for the older men, especially those with a background on the land working with dogs.

Georgie may not be your classic bluey or kelpie working dog, but she gives the special affection and loyalty many are used to from the dogs they have had in their lives.

Given dogs’ apparent ability to sense illness, bright-eyed and bushy tailed Homestead resident Georgie’s calming influence is beneficial for the isolated and ill.

Residents from all walks of life have had pets, and so Georgie provides that company for those who enjoy it.

In a sense she makes the Homestead even more of a home for those enjoying life there.

Mrs Wilson notes the value of their curly white puppy with the hostel’s dementia patients, especially when they are stressed: “Georgie’s company seeming to allow them to refocus”.

The Homestead has always had resident pets over the years, a cat and dog previously and currently an aviary of budgerigars.

While the residents adore their canine friend, he is much loved by staff members also, with Mrs Wilson more than willing to take Georgie for a pre-work brisk morning walk.

While the Homestead’s resident canine charmer wanders the facility and gardens at will, she is also a familiar face at planned activities such as barbecues, social events and bus trips on a day out.

Company is vital to the comfort of the elderly, and those at the Homestead are fortunate to have Georgie, as she is to have them.

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