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Puppy-Palooza brings joy to Coaldale Health Centre residents

If every dog has its day, then a lot of good days were being had at the Coaldale Health Centre — not just by the pooches, but by the people they came to visit.

Those people include Eva Dreilich, who was beaming every time a furry friend ambled by.

“They’re better than any therapy. Better than pills,” says Dreilich.

Dreilich says her father was a veterinarian assistant and was around animals when she was younger but unfortunately the family never had a pet.

“He just makes himself at home usually. But he’s not used to other dogs in the room. Curls himself up, that’s it,” added Dreilich.

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This is the facility’s first Puppy-Palooza event, which allows dogs and their owners to come down and help boost the spirits of those who need it.

“Once you come here and see what it does for them, it’s definitely worthwhile. You get a lot of satisfaction from it,” says Lloyd Clarke, a volunteer with the program.

“To have this much activity around our residents and to be able to include staff is pretty major. It’s pretty exciting. It makes my job so worthwhile to be able to bring everybody together and just bring a little smile. Who doesn’t love a dog?” says Hilary Holt, a volunteer coordinator with the south zone of AHS.

The program is also looking for extra volunteers to help moving forward.

“We can always use more. If we had one every single day, that would be ideal,” added Holt.

For now, staff are hoping to make it a monthly event and bring twinkles to the eyes of residents.

“Animals are very calming,” added Dreilich.

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