Furry friend to lift sick kids’ spirits
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 email@example.com 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