A loveable Labrador is bringing comfort and joy to poorly children at Hull Royal Infirmary.
Lewis the Lab is a tower of strength to children receiving treatment on the Acorn Ward - whether they’re having blood taken or physiotherapy sessions to help them on the road to recovery.
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Four-year-old Lewis is a therapy dog who does animal assisted intervention (AAI) accompanied by his owner David Freer. His presence can calm even the most frightened patient and help to reduce stress.
Haven Vets practice manager Amanda Dobbs said: “What David and Lewis are doing is brilliant. It is all voluntary and David gives up a lot of time to take Lewis to the hospital so we wanted to show them some support.
“Even just stroking a dog makes you feel so much better and Lewis brings a lot of joy into the lives of those who need it most.”
The black Labrador, who has a wagging tail, friendly personality and fondness for being stroked and patted, even learned how to press lift buttons when he helps to escort children through the hospital for their appointment.
David, who lives in Kingswood, Hull, said it isn’t just the patients who enjoy his visits, as Lewis loves being the centre of attention.
He said: “Lewis loves all the pats. The benefit for him is keeping him active and his brain engaged as he is very clever. He does tricks like rolling over and going to sleep and he has his own stethoscope so the kids can listen to his heart.
“As well as a fun side, he can help children who are poorly and afraid. He sits next to patients and acts as a distraction while they are having blood taken.”
Lewis has been rewarded by being sponsored by Haven Vets in Holderness Road in Hull and Ketwell Lane in Hedon.
For the past three years, the practice has provided him with all his routine healthcare, such as flea and worm treatment, his annual vaccinations, and regular check-ups to help keep him his best.
Lewis carries their logo on his harness and represents the practice at community events.
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