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Four paws...and a whole lot of love

Rainbow Ward at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust had a four-pawed visitor, bringing smiles to patients, their families and staff.

Five year old, Missy, a Steel Blue Great Dane who weighs nearly 70kg, visited the ward at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, alongside her owner, Debbie Stewart, from Leigh in Lancashire.

“This was Missy’s first interaction with children and she was amazing,” said, Debbie.

It was only 18 months ago when Debbie thought that Missy would be the perfect therapy dog, as she has such good temperament and loves cuddles. During her visit Missy made her way around the different bays, bringing joy to everyone on the ward.

Dog owner, Debbie Stewart, with Great Dane, Missy, and Rainbow Ward staff

Emma Parr, Staff Nurse on Rainbow Ward, initially contacted Debbie through Therapy Dogs Nationwide.

“I’m a big dog lover so I wanted to share the love and invite them in,” said Emma.

Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a charity providing volunteers and their dogs to the local community for companionship, emotional support and therapy. Missy was taken on a two hour assessment, which included several activities to see how she would react and if she was eligible to be a therapy dog.

“Missy knows when she is going work as soon as I put her yellow collar and bandana on her”, joked Debbie.

After recently moving from Yorkshire, where Debbie and Missy started visiting care homes, they have become regular visitors to Wigan and Leigh Hospice since moving to Leigh, however Debbie wants to do more for the community and come to WWL more.