Tygerburger 09/11/2016 Phoenix’s story

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Patients’ best friend by Esme Erasmus (Tygerburger 09 November 2016)

An abandoned dog, a gentle Border Collie-mix, which found a second chance on love at a home for Alzheimer’s patients in Parow North, has crep into the hearts and lives of patients in his new home.

Phoenix, a two-year-old* male, who was rescued by the Fisantekraal Animal Welfare (FAW) organisation was recently adopted by Advance Home. In his first two or three days at the home, Phoenix already played a huge role to calm down a severely anxious patient.

“An advanced patient in his eighties became very agitate and started to scream. Phoenix wnt to him and put his head against the man’s legs where he was sitting in a chair. He started to lick the man’s hand. We were worried and wanted to intervene as Phoenix was previously tortured before he was rescued. But the man stroked his head and the next thing Phoenix jumped into his lap. It calmed the man completely,” says Emsie Hanekom, a nursing sister who is married to Henk Hanekom, the owner of the home.

“He is such an intelligent dog and allows the patients to pat and hold him. When I visit the patients in wheelchairs, he often puts his head on their laps,” she says.

Phoenix is their seventh dog, of which one other, Sasha, is also at the home to keep the patients company.

*Correction to the above: Phoenix was 2 years old when uplifted; he waited 4 years, so he is a 6-year old dog.

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