A therapy dog called Domino has been drafted in to support patients and staff at Salford Royal Hospital.

The Border Collie and his owner, Milly Peel, have been volunteering at the hospital once every two weeks with the aim to help people when they need it most.

Milly said: “When people are in the hospital and it’s their darkest hours, he brings a little bit of light into that.”

Domino in the entrance area of Salford Royal Hospital. Image credit: Ben Rudd

As NHS volunteers, Milly and Domino walk around the hospital’s waiting rooms and communal areas to help with stress relief for anyone who needs it.

She explained: “Just seeing the difference to patients and staff, the difference it can make, it’s beautiful to witness, like I say it’s an honour to see it.”

Three-year-old Domino’s main duties include playing with the residents or staff, and he is also responsible for comforting those in hospital through hugs and petting.

Domino in a hospital meeting room. Image credit: Ben Rudd

Milly and her dog, from Knutsford, are also planning to set up a new charity called Stable Minds which will help them travel to multiple different areas to help people in need.

They are already helping in a primary school in Manchester. “We also go into a primary school where we do reading with the kids, and we play football with some of the kids there.”

Domino in a hospital meeting room. Image credit: Ben Rudd

Milly decided to become a licensed counsellor after losing her young son six years ago. She spent over 10 weeks in hospital and found that animals were a great source of help for her mental state.

She then realised that Domino could help her in counselling sessions. Milly continued:“I always knew he was a bit different to my other dogs and he was kind of wasted just being a pet.”

Domino’s NHS identification card. Image credit: Ben Rudd

Milly then signed Domino up to an animal therapy group called Pets as Therapists (PAT) which is a national charity that helps people across the UK.

According to Pet Keen, there are approximately 6,300 PAT dogs across the UK, but Milly believes that there needs to be more because Salford Royal is always looking for volunteers and therapy dogs.

Along the way, Milly has been documenting some of their counselling trips through her Tik Tok account

@millyp33l Today’s visit to the amazing Salford Royal hospital. So beautiful to witness the smiles he manages to bring to the staff and patients faces 😍. #therapydog #proud #salfordroyalhospital ♬ Keeping Your Head Up (Jonas Blue Remix) [Radio Edit] – Birdy

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