Six years of changing lives in Joburg

The first Top Dog visit in Joburg north happened on 18 October 2012, when the volunteers and their four-legged friends visited the residents of the Summerfield Retirement Village in Jukskei Park. Photo: Rikki Hibbert Photography

 

The 18th of October was a special anniversary for the dogs and volunteers of Top Dogs as they celebrate six years – to the day – in the Joburg north area.

The non-profit organisation (NPO) provides comfort and companionship to those in hospitals, care facilities, schools and other institutions by organising visits where volunteers bring along therapy dogs to spend time with the needy.

On 18 October 2012, the NPO conducted its first visit in the northern suburbs when volunteers, based in the East Rand, visited the Summer Park Retirement Village in Jukskei Park, a Methodist home in the area.

Coincidentally, on 18 October 2018 volunteers from Joburg and Pretoria happened to visit the exact same institution once again!

On 18 October 2018, six years to the day since their first visit, the Top Dog volunteers returned to the same place for another visit.

“We had a good response from Methodist homes over here [in the East Rand],” explained Angie Thornton, president of Top Dogs about the decision to visit the area in 2012.

“So I checked their website for a [Johannesburg] home. I used to take several people with me from Benoni until we had enough Joburg handlers to take it over.

“The lady in the bed [in the photograph of the first visit] was 100 years old, and always insisted on having all the dogs on the bed, or around it.”

If you would like to learn more or become part of the Top Dogs organisation’s work, visit their website www.therapytopdogs.co.za or email [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Robyn Kirk

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