Bella and owner Barry Coase, who visit patients at Eastbourne DGH, have won the HiLife Pets As Therapy Dog of the Year award at Crufts 2019. The award was voted for by readers of Yours Magazine and presented by James Middleton, Ambassador for Pets as Therapy.
Since starting her role at Eastbourne DGH, Bella a four-year old Bichon-Frise, has been a hugely popular part of the team at Eastbourne DGH. On her weekly visits with owner Barry, who works part-time as a parking officer at the hospital, she brings a smile to everyone who meets her.
Barry Coase said: “I’d like to thank everyone who voted and supported us in our journey, it is an absolute pleasure work with patients and staff at Eastbourne DGH and long may it continue.”
Vikki Carruth, ESHT Director of Nursing said: “Bella and Barry have made a real different to patients and staff alike. They’ve touched so many people’s lives by coming onto the ward. It’s great to see the positive effect that Bella’s visits have on patients. Well done Barry and Bella.”
Bella was rescued from the Bichon-Frise rescue service when she was only twenty weeks old. Originally very timid, she has developed into a very sociable dog with the perfect qualities for her Pets as Therapy role.