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  • Paws for thought at Paradise as Patrick the therapy dog visits

    Paws for thought at Paradise as Patrick the therapy dog visits

    By: Newsroom Staff on 17 Dec, 2019 15:25

  • THERE was a special guest at Paradise to cheer on the Bhoys against Hibernian last Sunday because Patrick, a therapy dog who is part of the Hayfield Services for the Deaf care team, was there with three supporters.

    Lucy, Fiona and Charles, along with their BSL interpreter, Kevin Walker, who provided sign language throughout the afternoon, enjoyed the match, which Celtic won 2-0 thanks to goals from Man of the Match, Jeremie Frimpong and Odsonne Edouard.

    Patrick has been part of Hayfield since he was a three-month-old pup, and the service users are included in all aspects of Patrick’s care when he visits them at home.

    There are a number of benefits of a therapy dog:

    - As well as being deaf, the service user is on the autistic spectrum and shows emotional behaviour towards the dog that they will barely show with a human; eg, stroking, cuddling, play games, picking the dog up.

    - Social Inclusion for the users. When, for example, taking Patrick a walk in the park, people stop to stroke the dog which leads to chatting and getting to know the service user by name.

    - Patrick has become a friend, and service users struggle to make friends.

    - Patrick has learned a few basic sign language commands and it is well-documented that people on the autistic spectre react more positively to animals than people.

    And Patrick was delighted to meet manager Neil Lennon and Jeremie Frimpong, as well as seeing Celtic win the match.

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