When Peter Zagdanski’s daughter launched ‘Project 70’ little did he know it would irrevocably change his life … for the better. “My eldest daughter, Kate, told me mid last year she had initiated Project 70 – I’ll turn 70 in April,” Peter said. “She told me all I do is sit at home, I don’t socialise, I don’t get out, I don’t do anything, and it was time to figure out something to do. “So, I went on a two-week holiday up north and somewhere along the way I saw an advertisement for Seachange and the idea to move into one of the resorts sprang into my head. “I looked at Seachange Toowoomba and the ones on the Gold Coast, where my other daughter Kristen lives, and Toowoomba, for me, stood out from the crowd.” Peter moved into the resort in October and began an active life taking part in all the activities.
Meanwhile, Kristen was instrumental, along with family friend Sue who works at Animal Welfare League – Queensland, in finding Peter a new little companion – a seven-year-old Maltese cross Shih Tzu called Princess. “Don’t blame me for the name … she came with that,” he laughed. “We think she might have been puppy farmed as she’s quite timid. “I had mini Schnauzers years ago but haven’t had a dog for a long time. But I think Princess is going to add years to my life. “She’s a great companion and follows me around like a shadow. Wherever I go, she goes. She’s already made a big difference to my life and I’ve only had her since the end of January.”
Dogs at Seachange Toowoomba must weigh less than 10kg and there are currently four dogs living their best lives at the resort. Peter and Princess enjoy their daily strolls around the facilities and there’s no more ‘sitting at home doing nothing’. “Before I moved here, I lived in a little 1920s mining cottage in north Toowoomba and I never really got to know the neighbours as they really kept to themselves,” he said. “It wasn’t as social as it is here and it’s very easy to become isolated.” Now his social life has turned completely around, and both his daughters can’t help but tell him, “I told you so”. He participates in happy hours, open days, the gardening club and has been known to organise trivia nights. He also makes full use of the facilities, including daily swimming in one of the resort’s pools to ease the arthritis in his back. “There’s always something on and my social life has picked up about 100 per cent,” he said.