3205 W Skippack Pike
Lansdale, PA 19446

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(484) 998.4444

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(610) 584.1000


Introducing our Newest Team Member… Beacon!

Introducing our Newest Team Member… Beacon!

Introducing our Newest Team Member… Beacon!

Our newest Fitness and Wellness team member is arguably the most adorable employee Meadowood has ever had. In just two weeks he has wagged, romped, and cuddled his way into the hearts of everyone he’s met. But don’t let the fact that he’s cute fool you. He’s here to do a job.

Beacon, named in honor of the Beacon Award we received from the International Council of Active Aging last year, was bred to be a working dog. And although he will have to go through an entire year of training both at puppy school and right here on the Meadowood campus, his career has already begun.

An Australian Cobberdog (cobber means “friend” in Australian slang), Beacon was bred specifically to be a service dog. In fact, that is the reason every Cobberdog is bred.

The story goes that a breeder once received a request for a dog that could provide service for a man who was allergic to dogs. The breeder crossed a poodle with a Labrador Retriever in order to create a type of service dog that would have the traits of a lab–calm, intelligent, easy to train and even-tempered–and also would have a hypoallergenic coat. It was a great success.

Perhaps too great.

As the Labradoodle’s popularity spread and demand grew among the general population, the genetics became polluted, and the mission fell into crisis. As unscrupulous breeders made money the priority and focused mainly on large litters, many of the best qualities of the breed disappeared.

Then, in 2009, two Australian breeders decided to restore the authentic Labradoodle’s qualities. They began a new breeding program, crossing parents that did not shed, were gentle and generous in their nature, and who had superior intelligence. Along with poodle and Labrador genes, they added Wheaten Terrier to the mix. Keeping the genetics pure ad testing litters for temperament, the Australian Cobberdog breed was created.

The Australian Cobberdog has its own stable DNA sequence, which means that it maintains its characteristics generation after generation. With strict practices in place, the hope is to maintain the integrity of this wonderful dog.

According to Beacon’s breeder, all of the puppies in his litter tested well for temperament, and Beacon was at the top of his class. But he still has a long road of training ahead.

Right now, Beacon attends puppy school at Ruby Dog Training, where trainer Rebecca Brame socializes him with other puppies and works on basic commands. In the near future she will begin training him on the Meadowood campus to be the facility’s therapy dog.

What, exactly, will Beacon do at Meadowood? The possibilities are wide open, according to Fitness and Wellness Director Becky Anhorn. “Right now, I foresee he will serve as a companion in the Health Center and the new McLean Memory Care unit. He’ll attend classes, do wellness visits, and accompany staff members as they visit residents.”

But, says Becky, his responsibilities are sure to grow. “I’m betting as time goes on, we will find many more ways for him to contribute to life on campus,” she says.

Beacon’s potential, and the possibilities, are endless.

Until we meet…