Horley care home’s dog olympics gets tails wagging

Horley care home Wykeham House holds its first Dog Olympics event. Pic Steve Robards  SR1614480 SUS-160523-115144001
Horley care home Wykeham House holds its first Dog Olympics event. Pic Steve Robards SR1614480 SUS-160523-115144001
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Daring dogs were put through their paces at a Horley care home’s ‘Dog Orr-lympics’ last Saturday.

In the first event of its kind at Wykeham House, in Russells Crescent, canines competed for rosettes and trophies in categories including ‘Waggiest Tail’ and ‘Catch’.

Horley care home Wykeham House holds its first Dog Olympics event. Pic Steve Robards  SR1614476 SUS-160523-115105001

Horley care home Wykeham House holds its first Dog Olympics event. Pic Steve Robards SR1614476 SUS-160523-115105001

Wykeham House activities organiser Erica Phillips had help from residents in setting up the quirky event, which raised £51 for the Horley based Spaniel Dog Society.

Dog-lovers came to the care home with their four-legged friends for the competition, which was judged by two of the home’s residents.

It tested competitors’ abilities to jump over hurdles and weave their way through sticks, as well as their fetching skills. However, no pooches went home empty-pawed as all competitors received a rosette, trophy and doggy goody bags.

Jump the Hurdle was taken by Jax (owner Lynda Ford ); Reef won Catch the Ball (owner Jessie McAlpine); the prize for Waggiest Tail went to Roxie (owner Billy Marshall) and Lottie took the prize for the assault course (owner Natasha Snashfold).

Horley care home Wykeham House holds its first Dog Olympics event. Pic Steve Robards  SR1614494 SUS-160523-115157001

Horley care home Wykeham House holds its first Dog Olympics event. Pic Steve Robards SR1614494 SUS-160523-115157001

There was also an impromptu prize at the end for the dog that showed the greatest effort. It went to Harley, owned by Stephanie Samuels, a family member of one of the residents.

The day was so successful it is already in the calendar for next year.

Erica said: “We always encourage our residents to keep active. With summer on the way we had a great opportunity to move our activities outside to make the most of the weather.

“Our residents and their guest really enjoyed today and it was lovely to see so many of them getting involved.

“It reminded all of us of being a child, playing outside with your dog, and generally having fun with your pet.”

Resident Christine Gardner, who was judging their moves said: “I have never owned a dog, its always been cats for me. But today was amazing and I can’t wait to do this again next year.”

The event was one of many by Wykeham House involving animals recently.

General manager Sibby Swayer said: “We had Shetland ponies walking around the home visiting residents in their rooms; a farm visit on the April 15 2016, then the Dog Orr-limpics this Saturday, and yesterday, Monday May 23 we had exotic animals in and around the home.

“Animals are not only enjoyable, fun and bring back memories for our residents, there are also very therapeutic especially for our resident living with dementia.

Erica added: “Some of the residents who you would not think would like then, loved them. Even the ones with dementia, when they saw the animals, their faces lit up.”

The care home is planning a summer fete soon to raise money for children’s charities.