He may not have had the best start in life but Lurcher Lewis, who was born at Dogs Trust Darlington, is helping bring a smile to the faces of people across the borough as a Pets As Therapy dog.
Seven-year-old Lewis is now a welcome visitor to North Park Care Home and Riverside View Care Home as well as the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Café “D-caf” which meets at St Herbert’s Church Hall on Yarm Road.
Lewis was born at the Sadberge centre after his mum was abandoned just a few days before she gave birth to ten puppies. Although his brothers and sisters soon caught the eye of forever families, Lewis was so sensitive and shy that he was overlooked for several weeks. That was until Brenda and John Dodworth from Darlington spotted him.
The couple now believe it’s his sensitive nature that means he has made the perfect Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog.
Brenda says: “We’re certain the reason he was overlooked was because he quite literally got pushed to the back by the others who were more boisterous! But his gentle, calm approach to life means he’s a wonderful PAT dog and he now laps up the attention!”
Dementia Support Worker, Jenny Leeming, helps organise the “D-caf” Dementia Café which Lewis’ owner John attends, and she says: ‘If people have had pets at home throughout their lives it can be a great sadness not to have contact with a furry friend. A visit from Lewis brings back very happy memories and it’s so lovely to see people’s faces light up when he comes over to them. Just having the chance to stroke him and see him respond brings smiles to people’s faces and sparks off lots of discussion, which is great for everyone.”
Find out more about the work Dogs Trust do by visiting their website.