One man and his dog reunited by hospice charity

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A Kettleshulme man who is receiving hospice care has had his spirits lifted after the hospice charity reunited him with his beloved pet dog.

Holly, a Yorkshire Terrier-Bichon Frise cross, was welcomed with open arms by everyone at Ashgate Hospicecare Chesterfield inpatient unit when she came to visit her owner Bill McQuinn.

Bill, 74, has lived with prostate cancer since being diagnosed at the age of 60, and was recently told the cancer had spread to his lower spine.

He said: “When I came into the hospice I was very frightened. A hospice to me has always meant end of life.

“However, it is nothing like that at all. I feel very safe here. The staff at the hospice are fantastic. They have done absolutely everything for me.”

Although Bill settled well at the hospice, he was constantly worrying about Holly—who was being left at home while his wife made hour-long journeys to visit him.

Mindful of their patients’ needs, the staff at Ashgate suggested that Holly should be brought to the hospice to visit.

Father of three Bill said: “When they said you could bring the dog, I couldn’t believe it.

“Just stroking Holly gave me that bit of home comfort. To allow Holly to come to the hospice benefits me. I’ve got my home from home.”

Hospice matron Wilma Hulland said: “For some patients, pets are like a family member. Being able to see them and knowing they’re okay is so important.”

To find out more about Ashgate’s services, visit www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk.