Meet Bracken and Otillo – Our visiting therapy dogs.
Accredited by Pets as Therapy, this very special pair perform an important role at Compton Hall. Reverend Elaine Dejonge, Spiritual Care Coordinator and Chaplain at Compton, tells us more…
“Bracken and Otillo visit our Inpatient Unit every week during the evening, on a Tuesday and Thursday respectively. They are very different characters – Otillo is a terrier and has a lovely way of turning his head to the side as he listens. He eagerly responds to attention and is full of fun! Bracken is a Cocker Spaniel and she always finds a space to sit herself alongside patients and their loved ones. Her velvety coat is often stroked as she listens.
“Our colleagues often take a moment to stop and spend time with both dogs; they talk about their pets at home and enjoy a cuddle with them.
Bracken and Otillo are also introduced to newly arrived patients and their loved ones, knowing that a furry friend will make all the difference during this period of adjustment.
“On occasion, Otillo will make a beeline for a room – sometimes when a patient is quite ill – and will be totally calm, lying down next to the patient and placing his paw near their hand. Bracken will also lie close, and sometimes patients stroke her ears and ask “why me?”. They will voice things to her that they have not been able to share with anyone else.
“These two very different dogs bring so much to our ward. Some people squeal with delight when they realise that it’s a dog night, and welcome the unique experience that Bracken and Otillo bring. A big thank you to their owners Julie and Nicky, and team member Kath, who offer their time to bring in their amazing dogs – they truly create something new and special each week.”
Did you know?
Pets as Therapy was founded in 1983, and currently has over 4,000 volunteers throughout the UK who visit hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, prisons and more.
Bracken and Otillo aren’t the only four-legged pals who enjoy spending time with Compton patients and staff. Recently we introduced Harry and Brian, our pair of Guinea Pigs who currently reside at our Living Well Centre. These important pets will be providing plenty of much-needed comfort and cuddles. Be sure to follow their progress over on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages!
To find out more about Pets as Therapy, please visit their website.
Our friends over at HugglePets in the Community also offer animal assisted therapy programmes. For more information on the topic, please click here.