Willie the PADS Therapy Dog!

Willie came to live with us in January 2007. He had been found tied up outside the butcher’s in Stanley (not the worst place for a dog to be tied up – I often think that someone might have chucked him a sausage or two) shortly before Christmas.

He had never been mistreated and quickly settled down to be a wonderful family dog. He constantly makes us laugh – he is really quite clumsy – and even now he is delighted if he can steal a pair of socks and run about the garden with them. He also takes drinks bottles, shoes – the latest thing was a doorstop which he could barely lift!

He has featured in the Scotsman once. I wanted to get sorted out the difference between a rescued dog and a rescue dog and pointed out that Willie has been rescued quite often – he’s fallen into the Leeds-Liverpool canal, he’s had to be rescued from a rock in the River Braan and various snowdrifts, and so he could do with having his very own rescue dog.

Recently Willie calmed down enough to pass an assessment to become a Therapet. This means he goes once a week to a nursing home so that the residents get a go at stroking him and feeding him biscuits – not a bad gig! Some of the residents get very excited when he comes and he has been seen charging down corridors pulling wheelchairs along (under controlled conditions, I might add). He’s even been head-hunted lately to go to a second nursing home, so he’s a busy chap.

And what kind of dog is he? Everyone asks and no one has an idea what he is. He’s Lakeland terrier size; part of his coat is like a Border terrier’s and he has a ‘saddle’ like an Airedale. All we know is that we thank the day we found him at PADS and, rather than him being lucky (as many people say) we are the lucky ones to have him living with us.

As told by his owner, Vic Johnston.