In writing this article, I am hoping to explain about my relationship with animals past and present, and how I am involved with OSF. I also wanted to demonstrate personally my own experiences so far to prove the importance of dogs in our lives.
As long as I can remember I have loved animals. This possibly goes back to being adopted at an early age, therefore making me feel abandoned. I had a puppy at nine years old and he was my rock, never letting me down and giving unconditional love! My adopted parents were wonderful, but my dog did not reject me, as my real parents had.
Later in my real life I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had a rescue cross Collie Alsatian at this time. She was allowed to attend my chemotherapy at each session; not only did it help me, but every other patient- a truly wonderful distraction. Walking her was a motivation to get up and also get exercise. She was also registered as a PAT dog so I visited Residential Homes.
It was devastating when she died, but later I had two rescue cocker spaniels, one of whom volunteered at OSF. Sadly she died at an early age but her main achievement was helping a young boy with autism. This was so successful that he is now very different and has his own dog. He chats and smiles more and is not as withdrawn as before.
My other dear spaniel died last year, but I now have a Cockapoo called Buster who is two years old. He is well known in Sudbury as he accompanies me everywhere. He has already played his part by helping me through a heart operation. Now hopefully he is helping others by visiting some Mencap patients in their own homes as well as going into a Residential Home where they love him very much.
I first heard about OSF on Radio Suffolk when Belinda was being interviewed, and I took it from there. I hope this helps all our beliefs that dogs are wonderful companions that love us unconditionally and help others. This is why OSF is such a wonderful organisation. Long may it continue.