Puppy joins Rain­bows

Loughborough Echo - - NEWS -

YOUNG­STERS at Rain­bows Hospice for Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple in Lough­bor­ough have an un­usual new staff mem­ber, and it was love at first sight - puppy love!

Toni the Golden Re­triever has just been in­tro­duced to the hospice for young­sters with life-lim­it­ing con­di­tions and is al­ready put­ting smiles on faces.

Bring­ing Toni onto the Rain­bows team was the idea of Lynne DeMelo, clin­i­cal nurse spe­cial­ist in pal­lia­tive care, who has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence at Rain­bows gained over 17 years.

Toni is a 12-month-old breed­ing pooch and comes from Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has an ad­di­tional fu­ture role of pro­duc­ing pup­pies to be­come guide dogs.

Lynne said: “The calm­ing ef­fect of an­i­mals in a care set­ting is well-doc­u­mented and can be very ther­a­peu­tic.

She added: “We have a beau­ti­fully trained dog with a won­der­ful tem­per­a­ment, who lights up faces. Some­times the sense of nor­mal­ity for fam­i­lies of see­ing and in­ter­act­ing with a dog can be sig­nif­i­cant.”

Four-year-old Harpal Dhali­wal (left) with Rain­bows nurse Lynne DeMelo, sis­ter Sophin­der (nine) and Toni.

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