MT MORGAN'S resident town crier, Jimmy Hound Dog Moonshine presided over the marriage yesterday of Miss Molly and Mr Angel Anderson.

The loved-up couple, therapy dogs at John Cani Aged Care Centre, had their dubious pedigrees outlined before being joined in "holy muttrimony" in front of the centre's 25 residents.

Mr Anderson, who wrote his own wedding vows, promised to play with his love, dig holes for her bones and always let her eat first.

Miss Molly promised to be his best friend, but probably not obey him.

"You may now sniff the bride," Mr Hound Dog Moonshine declared as he introduced the new Mr and Mrs Anderson.

The wedding, complete with wedding cake, gifts, cards and a marriage certificate, was arranged by the centre's activities co-ordinator and Molly's owner, Fiona Pridemore.

Ms Pridemore described seven-month-old Molly as an emotional support dog. Her new husband is also being integrated as a therapy dog.

"Majority of the residents would have a pet if possible and in an ideal world that would be great," Ms Pridemore said.

"I'd like to think there'd be more of it in the future.

"They have a calming effect. Residents will sit with her for hours, talking to her and patting her, which also enhances activity."

The impact therapy dogs can have was felt by one resident in particular, who Ms Pridemore said didn't attend activities until Molly arrived at only five weeks old.

"She was so small and that resident resinated with that vulnerability," she said.

"She helped to mind the dog for a few months and now she enjoys coming, without us using Molly as enticement."

Pet Therapy

Research shows that people with pets live longer

Animals have a profound physical and emotional effect

Reduced sympathetic nervous system stimulation

Reduced blood pressure and reduced release of stress hormones

Decreased anxiety, pain and improvements in mood.

- Source: Mater Misericordiae Health

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