Profile: Lisa and Poppy

Poppy my large labradoodle was 6 years old at the time and displayed all the characteristics to be an amazing therapy dog.  I registered with Pets as Therapy, Poppy passed her assessment with flying colours, and we were fortunate to be accepted to volunteer at Addenbrookes at the end of 2019.

Poppy took to the role immediately; her tail starts to wag as soon as I reach for her special therapy dog lead and bandana from the cupboard, she clearly loves going into the hospital. Each week we spend 2 hours visiting various children’s wards where Poppy is adored by the children, parents, staff and visitors.  She loves the cuddles and the treats which the children feed to her, and it sometimes feels as though she eats her body weight in treats during her visits!

Its difficult to put into words the effect Poppy has during her visits, from the smiles, to sometimes tears from people who are missing their own dogs at home during their stay in hospital.  She can make those who are a little shy feel more confident, and bring calm to those who are feeling upset or stressed. One of our highlights was an elderly gentleman who had a stroke and been unable to communicate for 2 weeks and yet when Poppy sat with him, he suddenly started to speak –   the power a dog in all its glory!

As for me, it has really changed my life being able to volunteer with Poppy. I feel blessed to be able to give back to such a great hospital that was amazing in treating my family and being able to bring a smile to the children and everyone else we meet during our visits each week.

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