Children’s Ward greet new furry friend

Gemma Probin with Coco the dog Triston Connell, 8, and Tyrese Speed, 5. 3

Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Children’s Ward has welcomed a new four-legged friend.

Coco the Malshi, a cross between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, is the ward’s new Pets as Therapy dog and has bow-wowed both patients and staff.

Young patients were delighted to meet Coco and the cute pooch loved all the attention and even performed some tricks.

Coco’s owner, Cheryl Graham, said: “Coco helps out at a local primary school by acting as a Read 2 dog, where children improve confidence in reading by telling Coco a story.

“Coming to the Children’s Ward seemed like a natural progression from the school as I have seen how much children can benefit from being with a dog.”

Pets as Therapy is a national charity who enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals.

Children’s Ward Manager, Sue Cawley, said: “We were all excited to meet our own Pet Therapy Dog. The children and staff really enjoyed Coco’s visit and are looking forward to welcoming her again on to the unit.”

Cheryl and Coco will be returning to the ward on a regular basis.

You can find out more information about Pets as Therapy visit

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