Graham the ‘Pets as Therapy’ Dog Chases Crufts Fame
Local dog owner Nikki Marker and her dog Graham the Rottweiler will be attending the world famous Crufts Dog Show this year where they will be representing ‘Pets as Therapy’ a charity that promotes community based animal assisted therapy across the UK.
Graham is a popular visitor at Liskeard Community Hospital and a firm favourite with patients and staff, who always raises a smile when he visits the wards.
Pets as Therapy has volunteers around the country who take their pets into hospitals, care homes, schools and hospices and make friends and comfort patients. It is said that dogs in particular have a calming effect on people; this is particularly beneficial for children who have to endure painful treatment or are very ill.
A delighted Nikki said, “Graham and I are both delighted and proud to represent Pets as Therapy at Crufts this year, it is a great honour.” When visiting patients, it fills me with pride to see how much pleasure and comfort Graham brings to everyone we meet when we visit Liskeard Community Hospital.”
“Being part of Pets as Therapy is very rewarding and I would highly recommend pet owners who are interested in becoming volunteers with the charity to get in touch and find out more.”
Christine Pascoe, Volunteer Manager at Cornwall Foundation Trust said, I am really pleased to hear that Nikki and Graham have been selected to represent the Pets as Therapy Service at Crufts. Graham is a Rottweiler and a gentle giant. His visits brighten the wards and I have seen how animated and cheerful patients become when stroking him and chatting to Nikki, or just watching Graham interact with others.
“It cannot be underestimated that the positive and calming effect pets like Graham have on patients and how their presence on the wards really enhances our patient’s experience.”
Christine added, “There are several volunteers with PAT Dogs who visit wards regularly throughout the Cornwall Foundation Trust, some have been doing this for many years and all are very well received and appreciated by patients, staff and visitors. Pets as Therapy really enhance our patient’s time in hospital, as do all the Trust’s volunteers.”