Posted 2 months ago ago
Lockdown restrictions have been hard on us all - but there's a therapy dog with just one eye who can't wait for them to be lifted.
Routines were thrown into chaos as our daily lives disrupted and even jobs were impacted during the covid pandemic.
But it’s not only us humans who’ve been hit by it all, our pets have too.
With time spent in isolation, many of us turned to our four-legged friends for company, and separation anxiety in puppies became a big issue as life slowly started to return to normal.
But one dog who is looking forward to his old way of life is One-eyed Jack Daniels - a therapy dog who used to visit patients in Queenscourt Hospice and Southport Hospital.
Restrictions have meant the Border Collie has been unable to do the job he so loves, helping to relieve stress for the families and patients, and even staff.
His Formby-based owner, Judith Hulse, told us how Jack has been missing the cuddles and attention he gets as a therapy dog, and the one-on-one time they get to spend together.
She said: “Initially he was quite sulky I’d say. I've got three dogs, and I think he just likes that time away from the other two, a bit of one-to-one, just me and him kind of thing.
“So yeah, definitely say he was a bit sulky originally so I’ve been doing a few little extra walks just with him.
“And just recently I've started doing a bit of extra training with him, and just spend a bit more time just with him really so that I can try and get him back into it.”
Missing the interaction being a therapy dog brings, Judith also told us how Jack would run up to strangers for cuddles when out for walkies on the beach.
“He just obviously goes up to people all the time, and that's actually what he was doing during that lockdown,” said Judith.
“He was like desperately going up to people for hug, you know, because we take them to the beach every morning, randomly running up to people just to get some attention.
“I think he’s really missing all that, the cuddles and everything that he gets normally.”
Jack has been with Judith since he was 10 weeks old. She spotted him on Facebook being advertised by the breeder who was struggling to rehome him following a litter accident that meant he lost one of his eyes.
Judith said: “I just fell for his little sad face really.”
He was five years old when Judith applied to Therapy Dogs Nationwide. She felt that Jack’s calm temperament made him a good candidate to work as a therapy dog, something she said is unlike many of his breed.
“The Border Collies are known for being quite lively, obviously they're traditionally working dogs so it's not something that you might think that a Border Collie would do.
“But he is a very very calm Border Collie. But there are other Border Collies within the charity.
“I've had six Border Collies, and none of the other five would have been suitable at all, although they’re great in their own ways.
“He's the only one that would have made, that would be a possible therapy dog.”
Describing the voluntary work she and Jack do together, which they’ve been doing since 2018, Judith said: “So I just take him around the beds and obviously the families with the patient around the bed usually.
“And yeah, we just sort of interact with the family and the patient often. Hopefully, not all the time, but most people love dogs.
“And, yeah, he’s great with children, so if there’s kids there, you know, around the bed with the patient, it's relaxing sort of for the children to get on the floor with the dog, stroke the dog.”
As well as helping others, Judith also told us how she gets a lot out of the work they both do.
She said: “It's just giving something back, isn't it? It's just a nice thing to do.
“It's nice to have a bit of one-to-one time with my own dog as well. It's just nice to be a volunteer in the hospital as well. So therapy for me as well I suppose.
“He absolutely loves going in. And I always say to people, he's getting the therapy as well really because he just loves it so much.”