Pet Therapy Dog Visits Ward 4

Posted on Fri, 13/03/2020

This week, patients on Ward 4 enjoyed a special visit from a familiar furry friend, Sammy the Cocker Spaniel!

Sammy is a WCS Registered Pet Therapy Dog in the North East who visits hospitals, hospices and schools to help put smiles on people’s faces.

One of the great things when he visits is the excitement and morale boost it has on stroke and dementia patients on Ward 4.

Simon, Sammy’s owner, is fantastic with the staff, patients and their families and takes his furry friend to each individual patient, talks to them and spends a short amount of time introducing them to the dog.

Simon’s interaction and patience makes a huge difference to how Sammy behaves and they can bounce off each other. If a patient is a little unsure or nervous, Simon’s body language and presence can determine how Sammy behaves with the patient also, making the patient experience enjoyable and gives them something to look forward to.

Simon said: “Sam and I feel most welcome from the minute we step foot into the hospital until we finally leave. Seeing the faces of patients light up as you enter the ward bays and hearing of the time when patients had their own dogs or their dogs are at home is most humbling. Seeing a Stroke patient really making huge efforts to fuss and stroke Sammy brings a tear to my eye. Also brightening the staff’s day when they have been rushed off their feet is massively rewarding.”

Ashlie Kell, the Nutrition Assistant on the Ward who organises these visits said: “The staff really look forward to Sammy visiting, not only does it boost staff morale, but it lifts the Patients mood no end. It is a pleasure that Sammy and Simon have picked ward 4 to visit regularly and we feel they are now part of the Ward 4 Family. We are always getting asked by the Patients when Sammy's next visit will be.”

Sammy added “I like all the fuss and attention I get, I’m a working cocker spaniel and I love going to work on the ward with my Dad. I think I’ve melted a few hearts in that ward with my love and of course the tricks I perform”

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