Just one of the things that makes St Wilfrid’s so special are its people, but there’s a visitor of the four-legged variety who’s been making a big impact in recent months!

Meet Mabel, a five-month-old Australian labradoodle who visits the hospice once a week with her mum Carolyn, a Host Volunteer at St Wilfrid’s.

Although Mabel may be small, her fan club here at the hospice is growing steadily, and staff have been known to drop whatever it is they’re doing - as long as they’re not working on the Inpatient Unit, we hasten to add - to grace Mabel with lots of hugs, pats and cuddles!

When she grows up, Mabel hopes to become a PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog, for which she will be assessed when she reaches nine months.                                                                                         

PAT dogs enhance the wellbeing of those suffering from a range of mental and physical health conditions as part of a holistic approach to treatment.

In the hospice setting, PAT dogs can give patients some of the comfort and joy a dog brings when they are no longer able to own a pet themselves.

Given her mild and calm temperament, we’re sure Mabel will make a fantastic PAT dog!

When she isn’t basking in the attention of adoring fans (and Mabel really does spend a lot of time basking), Mabel’s hobbies include - but are not limited to - getting extremely muddy, digging, paddling in the garden pond and playing a bizarre game of chase with a squeaky broccoli!

We’re going to be following Mabel’s journeys around the hospice, where she’s very much looking forward to meeting more of its staff and patients!