On this Christmas Day, Malibu Thomson will be spending time at the nursing home not far from her home near Sydney, Australia, sharing tea and cakey with all her friends.
Malibu is a scruffy little dog who has found her calling to be a friend to the elderly.
Her “mum,” Aly, says back in 2007, after suffering a couple of painful losses, she found herself at a rescue that saves dogs from “death row.”
“I saw this bedraggled looking dog in the back among many dogs looking for a way to their forever home, I picked this scruffy mutt up and our fate was sealed with the biggest kisses from her,” she said.
Aly named the little dog Malibu.
In 2011, Aly was asked to go to a local nursing home with Malibu, something the two of them had never done.
Malibu entered the nursing home and easily moved around the facility, giving love to everyone.
“Malibu seemed to have this inner knowing,” Aly says. “With these elderly people, Malibu just seem to know not to jump on them and to be very gentle. I could NOT believe how Malibu was with elderly people.”
So from that day on, Malibu Thomson Love Ambassador for the Elderly and mum Aly have been going up to the nursing home one or two days a week.
"No words need to be uttered, just sitting with a friend can make their day a whole lot better, for them to know that they are cared for and loved makes a difference in their lonely day," she says on her Facebook page.
Malibu posts pictures of her visits on her Facebook page. The faces of the people aren’t shown, to protect their privacy.
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Malibu talks about her interactions with her friends, and some of her comments are very funny:
“My friend's dinner sure looked yummo, shame I was NOT allowed to help him with cleaning the plate up :O)”
“I think there is a pea on the ground that shot off my friend's plate, mum said I could not have it either SIGHS mum is kill joy :O)”
And many will bring a tear to your eye:
“Today at work I meet a new friend, my friend has sadly lost his sight BUT that was NO problem for my new friend and myself to get to know each other , we sat together on the lounge and listened to the cricket game, we got to know each other REAL well, you see EVERYONE ** I see with not my eyes but with my heart just like my new friend ** we had a wonderful time :O)”
“I am posting this today in Honor of my friend who passed away yesterday aged 101 , We shared many good snuggles together, I spent Christmas 2011 with him, I would have spent this Christmas day this year with him also. I will sadly miss Art's cheeky smile, R.I.P my friend.”
Malibu brings smiles to the faces of those she visits with, many of whom have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. And many are extremely lonely.
“Malibu and these people have something very special,” says Aly. “They love for no other reason than they do, not because they have to, not because they are told to.”
Malibu also goes for walks with people when they will not go with the nurses and their hands get a workout when they pat Malibu. And the people talk with Malibu.
“To see these people talking when they normally utter no words is truly wonderful, and if you listen to them, they are still very much here… Malibu just sits and listens,” Aly says.
Aly says her mission with Malibu is to make people all around the world know that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are everywhere among the elderly.
“These people have feeling, have love inside of them to still give, these people need to be talked to as if they can understand all that is happening around them, with respect and kindness these people will smile and light your own life up,” she said.
Aly says she’s had many people send her e-mails, saying they are now going to visit nursing homes because of Malibu and her work.
“I have no doubt in my mind she was sent to do this work with elderly and to make a difference in their lives,” she says.
And on Christmas Day, Malibu will be doing her good work.
“Christmas time is a time of giving from your heart, spending time with a lonely person is FREE. Just spending time is a gift that will make these people smile :O)”