Winnie is a 5 1/2 year old shih tzu poodle who visits The Royal Childrens’ Hospital regularly as a pet therapy dog through an organisation called The Delta Society .
Winnie’s calm temperament was first noticed when she was just a puppy by Rachelle Lowe, one of the vets at the practice, who thought that Winnie had the right disposition to do this special work. As soon as she was old enough she went for assessment with Delta and passed with flying colours, and Winnie has now been attending the hospital for over 4 years.
Winnie has visited many times all of the wards in the hospital, including the intensive care ward and the kids with cancer ward, and has had many deeply rewarding interactions with not just the children, but the staff and parents as well
One of the most moving occasions happened when Winnie was visiting a very sick young boy in intensive care who was in an induced coma following an accident. The parents explained that he loved dogs and indeed there were photos of his own two dogs posted around the walls beside his bed. Winnie sat quietly on the bed beside the little boy and the parents put his hand on her fur and told him her name and that she looked just like his own pets at home. His heart monitor reacted somewhat alarmingly, but the nurses were actually delighted with that sign.
Two weeks later Winnie was back and visiting the general ward and who was there but this same young boy making a good steady recovery – As Winnie came over to him he said “I know who this is – It’s Winnie!” Lots of delighted and amazed laughter from his parents that day and big treats for Winnie that night!
Winnie is one of a number of dogs from Mosman who do this wonderful work, and Mosman Veterinary Hospital are proud to be able to support this worthwhile cause by providing regular health checks to make sure they are always in good health to continue their valuable duties.
Posted on 13 March 2014
Last updated on 11 December 2019
Tagged with: charity work