Border collie gains accolade for therapeutic role

by Leanne Thompson on December 4, 2009

Cognac is a border collie who regularly visits hospital patients to assist them with their recovery. With owner Sue Cole, this dog has been attending hospital every week for five years. His efforts have now received formal recognition from Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, according to the BBC.

The Friends of Southampton General Hospital are merely one of the voluntary organisations who have been favourably impressed by Cognac’s contribution to society. When someone is ill they can stop enjoying life, especially if they have few visitors. Research has shown that an optimistic mood can contribute towards a speedier recovery. The presence of a dog in a hospital can lift the spirits of many patients – Cognac has undoubtedly been doing a superb job and helping patients with their physical and mental conditions, but how many of us know about the innovative charity which has supported his invaluable work?

Cognac has been doing his duty under the governance of a charity which has been established for over twenty-five years. The amiable hound has been working diligently for Pets As Therapy (PAT.) Hopefully, he has been enjoying some of the attention he receives. PAT is a national charity, founded back in 1983 which like today, was a period of high unemployment and economic uncertainty.

In difficult times, people are particularly reliant on pets, and particularly dogs, for support.

Pets As Therapy has always been about the delivery of therapeutic pet visits to hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. The charity does not utilise professionals for visits; it always uses volunteers with their own well loved animals.

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