Gary, the Gold Coast Airport therapy dog has returned

Gary, the Gold Coast Airport therapy dog, has returned, and we think its pawsitive news. The program paused as part of COVID-19 management measures.

Beach holidays, trips to Byron, and market adventures have packed Gary the Gold Coast Airport therapy dog’s itinerary in the past 12 months. But now, he will return to work greeting passengers as flight numbers ramp up.

PHOTO: a_dog_named_gary via Instagram

Who is Gary, the airport therapy dog?

Instagram-famous Gary has more than 10,000 followers on the social media platform. He is the first Gold Coast Airport ambassaPAW since the program launched in 2018. At the time, Gary was one of his kind in an Australian airport, with therapy animals becoming increasingly popular at airports internationally.

READ: Seven therapy dog programs now back at airports(Opens in a new browser tab)

AmbassaPAWs is part of the broader Gold Coast Airport ambassador program established in 2016 to enhance customer service. Ambassadors offer a warm welcome and farewell to customers and assist in the terminal, answering general inquiries.

Gary, the Gold Coast Airport therapy dog, is part of the ambassaPAW program. We are certain he will set tails wagging when he returns to the terminal this week. The ambassaPAW program enlists the help of trained therapy dogs to help those who may be nervous flyers or are experiencing travel anxieties.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said, “Gary would be back in the terminal three times a week. Gary will be back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, along with new safety measures in place. We are thrilled to have Gary back in the terminal – he has an amazing positive impact on passengers and the airport team.”

Besides, the airport has made some COVID-safe changes to Gary’s setup. For example, passengers are asked ‘paws’ before they pat so that physical distancing can be maintained.

Airport Therapy Dogs make travel positive

Ms. Charlton also said, “We know some people are apprehensive about flying and that may be exacerbated in the current environment. Its is a fact that there is a therapetuic benefit of animals when it comes to helping humans. Gary is here to make the journey a little easier.”

Gary’s return has come at the perfect time. Flight and passenger numbers continue to climb at Gold Coast Airport and around the world.

Want to know where to find therapy dogs at global airports? Follow #airporttherapydogs on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


Cristina Alcivar

Founder and Editor of Vane Airport Magazine. Passionate about everything well-being, love travel, the ocean, and the sun.

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