HE’S Bruce the cockapoo…a new breed of St Luke’s volunteer!
Bruce is the companion of St Luke’s volunteer hairdresser Erica Hanson-Fountain – and he’s also a St Luke’s Pets as Therapy dog.
Erica first brought Bruce to St Luke's to visit a friend’s mum during her time as a patient but after seeing the difference that one visit made it was clear that the much-loved family pet could be a perfect candidate for the PAT Dogs scheme.
“The impact of bringing Bruce to St Luke’s is massive and everyone wants a piece of him,” said Erica.
“Having him at St Luke’s also helps to bring a sense of normality, a really normal vibe for our patients.”
Erica usually brings Bruce in on the days that she herself is volunteering and visiting relatives who have become used to his friendly welcome often pop in to the St Luke’s salon specifically to see him.
But the biggest difference Bruce has made has definitely been to the lives of animal loving patients.
“We had one patient who had been here for eight weeks and had not seen his own dog at all in that time and who actually said he didn’t want his dog to come in,” said Erica.
“But one day I brought Bruce in to see him and after that he asked for his dog to be brought in for a visit – that’s the difference that Bruce can make.”