When we go on the ward it is often the relatives that get excited to see her. It breaks the day because it’s a normal thing. You always have great reactions. The staff really love to see them so why not benefit everybody; staff, patients and relatives.
I think it’s nice having a dog around and it’s something to look forward to. It’s so unusual to see a dog in this setting I think. It makes it a bit more special really.
I always say ‘I am Heather and this is Milly, I’m pleased to meet you’. If somebody doesn’t have any visitors with them I’ll spend longer chatting about things, because obviously it’s nice to see people.
I’m not medical, I’m not chatting about why they’re in here it’s more general chit-chat. You’re not a poorly person to me, you’re just a person and I see you as a person, not as an ill person.
Obviously if they’re in bed they can’t always sit up even, but just having her in the room or if they see their relatives with her, that gives them joy.
I thought we‘d just make a difference to the patients but it really is the relatives and the staff too. Obviously there are difficult days and it just brightens them up. It’s a welcome distraction for everyone here.
Therapy dogs are just one of the ways we promote a positive approach to living in our Day Hospice. To find out more about our weekly drop-in service for anyone with a life-limiting illness or their families and carers, visit https://www.st-gemma.co.uk/day-services/drop-in