The serviced apartment team at Ngaio Marsh Retirement Village has recently had some paw-some new team members join the cohort, including a dog named Bella Rose.
Senior caregiver Glenys Stewart, Bella’s owner, has been bringing Bella in regularly over the last couple of months. The residents of Ryman Healthcare's Papanui village have got to watch Bella’s little family grow with the recent arrival of two new puppies.
“(I’ve been bringing Bella in) pretty much since she was about 8 weeks old," says Glenys.
"I tried to bring her in a wee bit just to socialise her but also for the residents to see her when she's a baby because they love them when they're puppies. Absolutely adore them.”
Bella, who is an 18-month-old Shih Tzu, had her puppies about two weeks ago. The father, Tanner is a Shih Tzu/Maltese cross and together they’ve made the cutest tri-coloured puppies. Bella’s visits and the arrival of the puppies has added some real joy and interest for the village residents.
Glenys Stewart with Bella Rose and her puppies
“The residents have absolutely loved her, and she's come every day, and I've taken her down to the resthome and the hospital and they've really enjoyed seeing the puppies too," says Glenys.
“A lot of the residents have never seen puppies this young before. So, it's really cool, just seeing the looks on their faces, it’s just priceless.”
Glenys got Bella Rose from a breeder out in Oxford when she was a puppy. She says Bella Rose is a sweet little dog that loves showing off her dazzling collection of hair bows, including the pink crown that she sported on the day.
Ngaio Marsh Sales Advisor Danielle Numan takes a peek at the puppies!
For many residents, having Bella visit the village has sparked memories of their own pets when they were young.
“One particular lady actually had a dog very similar to Bella," Glenys says. "She only lost that dog a couple of months ago. So that stirred up quite a lot of memories.
“With other residents, you hear a lot of stories about animals that they've had themselves. Their dogs and other pets, which is really cool. So that helps with them reminiscing on what they've had. And they love holding them.”
One resident, 102-year-old Muriel Smith, was very keen to get close to both puppies having been told their eyes had just opened for the first time: “I want two to hold,” Muriel said.
Muriel Smith loves seeing Bella and took the opportunity to give the puppies a cuddle.
Glenys has worked for Ryman for over 20 years. She started her residency in Dunedin’s Frances Hodgkins village before making her way north to Christchurch. After a six-month stint at Anthony Wilding, she took on a role at Ngaio Marsh where she has been for the last 17 years. She has built a strong relationship with the residents and the team, particularly with Bella making her regular visits.
The yet to be named puppies will be a village staple until Christmas when they will head to their new families. Bella Rose will continue to be a mainstay at the village as her small but mighty stature has brought so much joy to the village community.