Charley and Bailey are proving woof-derful visitors to Bury Hospice.
The two bichon frise’s have been visiting the hospice for around three months with their owner Andy Gaskell and have won over both the staff and the patients.
Andy, a keen photographer, works at B&Q in Bury as a Showroom Manager.
“Bury Hospice was selected as B&Q’s local charity to help and once I went into Bury Hospice, I was just won over by the family and caring atmosphere,” said Andy, 45.
“I asked if I could bring the dogs in, they are hypoallergenic and they also don’t shed hair so they don’t cause problems at the hospice.
“We had to look into what they can and can’t do but the response of the staff and the patients has been incredible – and Charley and Bailey love it!”
Charley and Bailey are sisters and Andy says as soon as they get near the hospice they start wagging their tails.
“When we are driving up, they start getting excited. They go into the hospice and they go both to the Day Care Services and In-Patients Unit and they seem to calm and relax the patients. It’s a wonderful thing to see.
“They are good-natured dogs, they are curious and also quite stubborn but they have in three months become popular with staff and patients. I take them all over and they seem to thrive on it – as do the staff and patients.”
The Bury and North Manchester Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society hold a meeting every month at Bury Hospice and they welcomed Charley and Bailey with open arms.
Anna Ziemer, from SP Therapy Services, delivers an exercise class to the MS Society and she said: “It’s the first time we have seen Charley and Bailey but our members have taken to them immediately. They come in for a chat and therapy and seeing these two dogs has made their day.”
Bury Hospice’s Head of Clinical Services Ellie Burke said: “It’s wonderful having Charley and Bailey visiting the hospice. They bring such pleasure to the patients, families and staff, you can see it in their faces the minute Charley and Bailey trot into the hospice and they begin to interact. Many people have cared for or are caring for pets and we hope that these visits bring back happy memories.
“Studies have shown that animals have an impact on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of patients. The presence of animals provides a sense of comfort and companionship and helps to relieve anxiety and stress.”