At our inpatient unit at The Harbour, Blackpool, we have welcomed five-year-old Minnie, a pet therapy dog to the team.

Minnie, a miniature Shitzhu, hits the wards as part of the newly launched #WoofWednesday initiative where she meets services users to relieve feelings of depression and encourage them to talk and take part in activities.

Minnie’s owner, Lisa Whittle, is a Health and Wellbeing Occupational Health Assistant and has been working with Minnie to get her specially trained and qualified for her new role.

Lisa, said:

“Minnie is the most amazing dog. I have Minnie’s mum as well and as soon as Minnie was born I knew there was something special about her and that she would make the perfect therapy dog. We’ve worked together so that she could pass her Pets Therapy Assessment – which she did with flying colours. Now we get to work together every Wednesday which is incredible.”

Animals have been found to bring a sense of homeliness and normality to people who are hospitalised and Minnie is already having a fantastic impact.

Outside Minnie’s working hours, she enjoys spending time with her family and going for walks and playing in her local park.