Bruno and Chester spread happiness through pet therapy at Carveth Care Centre

Bruno sits on a chair with his dog Chester in his lapBruno Mathieu has found so much love and comfort in his 16-month-old Cavapoo named Chester, he wants to share it with others.

A retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Bruno, 58, brings Chester to Carveth Care Centre, a retirement lodge and long-term care home in Gananoque. 

“We started here last January,” says Bruno in late February 2019. “I love it. It gets me out.”

Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bruno uses Chester as a therapy and service dog. The duo work under the supervision of St. John Ambulance.

“He’s a PTSD dog who senses when I’m nervous or not feeling well,” explains Bruno. “He helps me with my nightmares. He also helps me go places I’m not comfortable with such as the mall.”

Speaking on behalf of the home, Activation Director Shannon Buell notes, “We’re excited about the new addition of Bruno and Chester to our pet therapy team. We’re now close to having pet visits every day of the work week. Most of the residents have requested the visits and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of animals. We even have baby goats visiting in March.”

Bruno describes his time with seniors as a way to give back to the community.

“The elderly tend to get forgotten,” he says kindly. “Chester loves everyone. He is doing great.”

In photo: Bruno and Chester

This story was originally published by Carveth Care Centre and has been reposted with permission.