Balhousie Brookfield care home in Carnoustie has a very special resident – a four-legged one.

Cocker spaniel Penny is loved by staff and fellow Brookfield residents, takes part in the activities, and even has her own care plan.

Penny, a golden Cocker, was left an orphan in August this year when her owner – who kept Penny at the home – passed away. When no family members came forward to take care of her, a vote was put out to staff and residents to see if they wanted to adopt her. The unanimous response? Yes please!

Penny is not just a pal to residents, she’s the talk of Carnoustie. Regular visitors to the home seek her out and take her for a walk in the grounds for a treat (both for her and for them).

Like all the other residents at Brookfield, Penny has her own care plan. Her food and exercise needs, and veterinary visits, are logged in the care home system which staff can access from hand-held portable devices. Every time she’s fed or walked, staff check it off on their device. “We treat her like any of our other residents and make sure her needs are taken care of,” says Home Manager Sarah-Jane Patterson.

The home and the local community have been taking contributions to help with her upkeep, including a £200 crowdfunding drive to pay for vet visits.

Says Sarah-Jane, who will help Penny distribute Christmas gifts to the residents this week: “Penny spreads cheer among all of us, and we’re particularly excited about her first Christmas with us. She really is a joy to have around. The response from visitors and the community has been superb. One taxi driver even donated his fares to her cause, that’s how much she’s loved.”

However, there’s one thing this pup is in need of – and is hoping Santa (in the form of a dog groomer) might help deliver: a haircut. “She could really do with a visit to the groomer, so if Santa is listening, maybe he can make Penny’s Christmas wish come true,” says Sarah-Jane.

If you know if someone who would donate a haircut to Penny, please call Balhousie Brookfield on 01241 853855.

POST SCRIPT: We’re delighted to say that Penny got her Christmas wish! Wags Wash & Groom Studio in Carnoustie came forward to give Penny a groom free of charge, and Furiends Dog Grooming in Carnoustie is giving her free baths and haircuts for life! Thank you guys!