Muffin and Scout last week visited both Ormskirk and Southport hospitals during ‘Take your dog to work day’. Both fully trained ‘pets as therapy’ (PAT) dogs, they visited patients on the children’s ward and stroke unit.
Paediatric Consultant May Ng, who is also owner of PAT dog Muffin, explains:
“Muffin joined our family to help my son Brendan who is severely autistic. Muffin went through two years of training to make sure he was obedient enough to be able to be completed trusted in any situation. He had to undertake two very challenging exams to test his reactions and temperament.
“Children react so well to Muffin, he can help to distract nervous little ones, or bring a smile when they are feeling tired or sad during a hospital stay.
“He has had an incredible impact on Brendan and I would recommend any parent with an autistic child consider getting a therapy dog. I have recently written a book ‘A Journey with Brendan’ which covers this subject and other issues, and may be of help to other families who are experiencing life with autism.”
Silas Nicholls, chief executive at Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust explains: “The team here has worked very hard to get us to the point where we can allow dogs to visit wards. The benefits are clear and I am delighted that we can offer additional help for patients alongside traditional treatment. We are looking at bringing support pets into other areas such as critical care, where early rehabilitation is incredibly beneficial.”
Find out more about pets as therapy here petsastherapy.org.