Meet Rama – the therapy dog

Rama driving home after a hard day at the office!
Courtesy of Philip Daly.

By Eoin Meegan

This beautiful 5-year-old Goldendoodle (a golden retriever and poodle cross) is a friend to all who need him. So intelligent and kind he likes nothing more than to share love with those around him.

Trained by his owner Philip Daly, whose wife runs the local play school, at which Rama, owing to his natural empathy with children was always a welcome visitor. Rama has a particularly calming effect on children who may be hyperactive or are on the autistic spectrum. “Sometime autisitc children won’t look you in the eye,” Philip told NewsFour, “but they take to Rama straight away, and in no time with him seem to come out of themselves. He is definitely a little therapist.”
Then when covid struck and the schools were shut Philip brought him to his place of work at Woodstock Court Care Centre, which prepares delicious meals on wheels that go out to Care Homes in the Dublin 4 and 6 areas. There Rama was an immediate hit and over that prolonged period when residents were unable to have visitors he was both a friend and a therapist. “Honestly a few minutes with Rama is better than an hour with a therapist.” Philip says. And it’s true!

Every day Rama goes from unit to unit and sits for a while with each resident. Here in the pictures we see him with various residents, as well as strolling around his native Ranelagh. He provides both a comfort and a calmness that is priceless.