Tributes made to 'sociable' Pets as Therapy volunteer dog, border collie cross Millie
PUBLISHED: 10:25 04 May 2016 | UPDATED: 13:31 04 May 2016
Tributes have been paid to a dog that has "touched many hearts" through her volunteering work.
Millie, a 16-year-old border collier cross, died last week after years of accompanying her owner Julie Poole, of Percival Road, Hornchurch, to the children’s ward at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, as well as a pupil referral unit and events in the borough.
The pair started volunteering for Pets as Therapy (Pat), a charity that provides care with the help of animals, in 2008 after being accepted to join its ranks.
Julie adopted Millie from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in December 2000.
She said: “I will miss her very much - I keep expecting to see her and go to talk to her but she’s not there.
“She has been by my side for most of those years, whether I was going to work or if we were going to visit the hospital.
“Millie was very calm, very sociable, very energetic, loved being around people and loved being stroked and talked to.
“I have had so many messages since she died and that has been comforting I suppose.
“She obviously touched many hearts.”
Jess Lines, 22, of Kinfauns Avenue, Hornchurch, told the Recorder how she met Millie at the Havering Tuition Centre, High Street, Hornchurch, a pupil referral unit for children who cannot attend mainstream school due to illness or being excluded.
She said: “She really helped me and some of the other pupils to overcome our anxiety, not only about dogs but in other ways too.
“She was so gentle and a very calming influence and she used to lay down across our feet under the desk to sleep during lessons.
“Millie helped with our trust issues and was a very reassuring presence.
“We all loved her very much and have so many fond memories.”