Dog lovers needed to help combat loneliness at Christmas

Dog lovers needed to help combat loneliness at Christmas

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Addressing the heart breaking problem of loneliness in the community is the inspiration behind local dog holiday specialists Barking Mad’s annual festive initiative!

The dog care experts are encouraging their customers, hosts, friends and on-line followers to visit lonely neighbours with their dog, to have a chat and spread a little festive cheer.

Jennifer Curtin of Barking Mad County Clare, Galway and Limerick issues the plea: “Could you take your favourite dog to visit a neighbour? We are encouraging dog lovers to take a friendly pooch to say hello to someone who would appreciate a visit from a furry visitor and a chat. We aim to inspire the realisation that the greatest gift anyone can give this Christmas is time.

Dogs can be such a great ice-breaker and a real conversation starter, so why not consider if there is someone nearby who you could begin to chat to? A common sense approach is obviously required though and the dog must be of suitable temperament. We hope that through this initiative we can help ensure that isolated individuals feel valued and included this Christmas. Time after time we see the emotional and physical effects that dogs have on the members of our host community, who care for our doggy guests whilst their owners are away. These beautiful canine creatures give so much to their human companions on a completely unconditional basis.”

Jennifer Curtin

The Campaign to End Loneliness declares that research reveals loneliness in older age is ‘more likely than ever’ and worryingly, that three quarters of over 65s say that they would find it hard to admit to feeling lonely because they don’t want to be a burden. Equally Christmas can really amplify the desolating effects of bereavement, divorce or illness amongst younger people too.

The community of Barking Mad host families mainly consists of active retired people and those who either work from home, or have extended periods away from work. It offers the opportunity to care for dogs in your own home, while their owners are away on holiday. Hosts experience all the benefits of dog companionship without any of the emotional or financial responsibilities of full time pet ownership.

To find out more about becoming a Barking Mad host, you can call Jennifer on 1800 852 161 or email jennifer.curtin@barking-mad.ie

Barking Mad is part of the Franchise Brands plc group of companies and is the UK and Ireland’s favourite dog holiday company, as verified by TrustPilot. Contact Barking Mad at www.barking-mad.ie to find your dog’s home from home today.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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