The Power of the Dog
28 March 2023
She only weighs 1.6 kgs - but the joy she imparts is worth its weight in gold.
Meet Missy: adorable Yorkshire Terrier pup, furry fashionista, and regular fixture at Metlifecare’s Papamoa Beach Village. Fur baby to Village Manager Polly Delfim Nunes, Missy has been making herself at home at the village for the last six months, dishing out happiness to anyone with a penchant for pooches.
“I got Missy when she was just eight weeks old and she’s nearly eight months now. She has been accompanying me to work since the day I got her – if I’m here, she’s here,” says Polly. Often dressed to the nines in miniature dresses and brightly coloured bows, Missy is a ray of sunshine for villagers and visitors alike. And although she has her very own comfy couch in Polly’s office, you’ll regularly find her out in the village making new human friends or nestling into the laps of care home residents.
“Two of our residents Dell Mabin and Isobel Vital have really taken a shine to her and will often take her home with them. Isobel enjoys walking Missy around the village and introducing her to other residents, and she turns her lounge into a doggie playroom – complete with special toys – and plays with Missy on the floor of her villa. Meanwhile when Dell takes Missy home, she sits in her lazyboy with a cuppa and watches her zooming around the place. She finds joy in that, and Missy makes her giggle chewing on things and being the pocket rocket she is.
But it’s not just residents in the villas who enjoy their slice of ‘Missy time’. She regularly accompanies Polly to the care home too, brightening the day of everyone she meets.
“She’s so small and light, so we can pop her onto people’s laps and they love cuddling her and stroking her fur. There’s one particular gentleman in the dementia unit whose face just lights up whenever he sees her. He’s in his element when Missy is around. That exchange of energy is so beautiful to watch, and it’s really beneficial to them both. The love from a dog is so genuine, when you give them love they give it back.”
It has long been known that interacting with animals can bring powerful benefits to our mental health and wellbeing and Missy is living proof.
“She’s so good natured and energetic - she just melts everyone’s hearts.”