Puppy Love is in the air at Friends of the Elderly’s Little Bramingham Farm residential care home in Luton, Bedfordshire. Regular respite resident, Emma Cootes, has formed a strong bond with Winnie The Pooch, a loveable Blue Roan coated Cockapoo Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog who pays weekly visits to the care home residents.
London-born Emma, who is 101-years-old, visited Little Bramingham Farm for her first respite break back in September 2019. “I live with my Daughter and Son-in-Law, so I thought it was a good idea to have a respite break so they could go away on holiday together. Little Bramingham Farm is so homely and friendly. The care staff are great and all like to have a laugh and a joke, so with my sense of humour, it was the perfect place for me to go,” said Emma.
Emma has made lots of friends at the care home and said how lovely it is to meet up with them every time she stays. “It’s nice to catch-up with everyone and see my friends. We’re always chatting and have our meals together,” Emma continued. “There’s something going on every day. I join in with the activities and am particularly fond of the Bingo and Velcro Darts games.”
Emma’s friendship with Winnie has grown over time and they thoroughly enjoy their time together. “We have a Cocker Spaniel called Bella at home, she’s my Daughter’s dog and when I’m on one of my respite breaks, I miss her so much. Seeing Winnie, giving her cuddles and playing games reminds me of Bella, so it’s like me having a ‘Dog away from Home’,” added Emma.
“When I was married we had quite a few cats as they are so independent. We believed that going to work all day and leaving a dog by itself didn’t seem right. It’s only over the last few years since I have been living with my Daughter and Son-in-Law that I’ve had Bella for company, she’s so intuitive and knowing. She’s a real character,” Emma continued.
Emma Lawrance, the Registered Manager at Little Bramingham Farm said: “Emma loves spending time with Winnie when she visits us for a respite break, it’s one of the highlights of her stay. Emma is so lovely and kind-hearted and is always telling us how much she appreciates the love and care she receives here. When Emma goes home, we all miss her wonderful smile.”
Karen Charity, the care home’s Activities Coordinator added: “Emma really likes to have a laugh and a joke with everyone, her laugh is very infectious. She loves a good chat and always likes finding out what’s been going on with everyone whilst she’s been away. Emma loved needlework at school and was so good at it, she told us it helped her to get a job and as she is so taken with Winnie, we had a special cushion made for her. It’s got a wonderful photo of the two of them together, so now she can literally take Winnie home with her.”
“Winnie is such a good dog, so quiet and loves cuddles as well as the treats her owner gives to me for her,” continued Emma. “I also get lots of cuddles from the care team every time I come back for a respite break, they always recognise me and take care of me very well. If anyone is thinking about coming to Little Bramingham Farm for a respite break I’d say don’t hesitate, it’s wonderful here. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.”