Sandy’s story: The charity has made me feel uplifted
“Give a Dog a Bone has come into my life with a big burst of sunshine”
We met Sandy (83) at our Troon Community Space when we first opened our doors back in November 2018, and he’s been a regular visitor ever since. His wife Liz has been in care for seven years now, and he’s understandably been very lonely in that time at home without her.
Sandy and Liz share a love for travel and interest in different cultures, and in previous years this took them to lots of new places together, making friends and special memories along the way.
His daily phone calls and regular visits with Liz are a top priority, and he’ll often pop into Give a Dog a Bone, Troon before or after for a free cuppa and a gab with our staff and volunteers. He doesn’t have a dog of his own at home, but he just loves spending time with our Companionship Dogs.
“In my own time, both my wife and I had a wonderful Labrador that gave us great warmth, loyalty and love – and this is what I’d like the public to know…that a dog can do that”
Our Community Spaces in Troon, Shawlands and Alloa offer a safe space for people to enjoy human and animal companionship. We know that loneliness and social isolation often affects older adults and can negatively impact mental health. So, we provide these spaces for everyone from the community to enjoy and feel at home.
Our Charity Founder, Louise, recently had the lovely opportunity to sit down with Sandy and ask him about his experience with Give a Dog a Bone, Troon.
Here’s what Sandy had to say…
About his visits to Give a Dog a Bone, Troon:
“When I walked into Give a Dog a Bone, I felt a real feeling of comfort.
It’s always so nice to come in and receive a lovely welcome – be asked do you want a cup of tea and a biscuit. It’s very social.
The friends I have made whilst I’ve been here – you meet people you can identify with and talk about memories.
Often when I’m in the Troon Community Space, I phone my wife Liz and tell her all about the dogs.
Liz always sends her love to everyone, and she loves to hear about the dogs! The staff and volunteers take pictures so that I can take them to show Liz once a week.”
About his life during COVID lockdowns:
“With the restrictions during the pandemic, I didn’t see Liz for months on end because of lockdowns. Give a Dog a Bone were a huge help to me at that time, as they called me every week and sent me surprise gifts in the post. They even arranged for school children to write me letters to cheer me up!”
About our Companionship Dogs:
“Oh, I just love the dogs! They are all different breeds and different personalities but all so well behaved and lovely!! The dogs are one of the reasons I come into Give a Dog a Bone.
I’d love to have a dog. We loved our dog, Samantha, very much but my circumstances don’t allow me to have another dog.
I use a mobility scooter, but I do like to walk, and I look forward to joining the Troon community dog walk!
I love the wee shop in Troon too – it’s such a lovely place to browse around and I find lovely wee gifts to take to Liz.”
About our staff and volunteers:
“Couldn’t be more warm-hearted or kind. You feel the love when you walk in. It’s a lovely atmosphere.”
About our Community Space:
“I go into the Troon community space 4 or 5 times a week. When Liz went into care I found it hard to live on my own and all the quiet times and too many thoughts. I was living in memories. I now have a life of warmth because I visit GADAB. When I’m out, I always talk about Give a Dog a Bone and tell others about it.”
About how Give a Dog a Bone has affected his wellbeing:
“It has certainly raised my wellbeing. I wake up every morning and I feel good. I’m blessed with good health.”
About how he would describe Give a Dog a Bone:
“I tell people about the pandemic and how GADAB really lifted me with the calls and support. And now everything is back opened again – I feel so comfortable about coming in to GADAB.”
Our charity tackles loneliness in our ageing years through animal companionship. We help people over 60 afford the ongoing costs associated to caring for an animal companion, and we can help cover the costs of the rehoming fee so they can adopt a rescue pet. For people like Sandy who really benefit from animal companionship, but are unable to care for a pet of their own, we have Community Spaces in Troon, Shawlands and Alloa where they can enjoy the company of our Companionship Dogs, staff and volunteers.