Pup pal

Furry friend to lift sick kids’ spir­its

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

A Pan­na­won­ica girl was one of the first peo­ple to meet a very im­por­tant new ad­di­tion to the Ronald McDon­ald House in Perth re­cently.

Labrador Gus has been ap­pointed di­rec­tor of hugs and pats at the cen­tre, charged with the im­por­tant job of bring­ing com­pany and hap­pi­ness to sick chil­dren from re­gional WA who are stay­ing in the city to re­ceive hospi­tal treat­ment.

Kyra Hud­son, 9, has been stay­ing at the cen­tre since she was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia in April, and was one of the first chil­dren to meet Gus on his first tour of the house.

Her fa­ther, Dave Hud­son, said Kyra and the other chil­dren loved hav­ing Gus around, as did their fam­ily mem­bers.

“I think with all that’s go­ing on with the kids, any­thing that will lift their spir­its is good,” he said.

“He’s re­ally good with the kids. He’s a pretty friendly dog, he doesn’t jump all over them and all that. I think it’s just a good morale booster for the kids and the adults as well.

“They all just love hav­ing him around.”

Gus was a guide dog in train­ing, but his friendly and laid­back per­son­al­ity prompted a change in ca­reer.

Ronald McDon­ald House Perth ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter King said Gus has been a wel­come ad­di­tion to their team.

“Staff, vol­un­teers and es­pe­cially the fam­i­lies re­ally en­joy hav­ing Gus around and he has al­ready made quite an im­pact,” he said.

“(For) fam­i­lies who have had to up­root their lives, leav­ing their home and in some cases their pets, to treat their child’s ill­ness, hav­ing Gus in the house pro­vides that feel­ing of home.”

Spon­sors to cover Gus’ food and vet costs and keep him fit and healthy are be­ing sought.

To show your in­ter­est, con­tact Will Beres­ford on will@rmhwa.com.au or call 9346 9000.

Kyra Hud­son, 9, and her sis­ter Rhi­anna Hud­son, 8, meet­ing Gus, the new di­rec­tor of hugs and pats at Ronald McDon­ald House, Perth. Pic­ture: An­thony Urbini

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