A ‘SOCIABLE’ Alsatian has been praised for helping residents to relax at a Wellington care home.

Rex the therapy dog has become a regular visitor at Camelot House dementia home, where he is said to be brining joy to residents.

Owner, John Cuttings, would regularly visit his late mother in the home, accompanied by his dog Prince.

The visits went down a treat among residents and after Prince sadly passed away, he continued to visit the home with his new Alsatian puppy, Rex. John said: “Dogs have always been a huge part of my life and seeing Prince, being able to stroke him and talk to him, brought so much pleasure to my mum and the other residents.”

The initiative is supported by ‘Therapy Dogs Nationwide’, a national charity which supports volunteers to bring stimulation and comfort into hospital, care home and other settings.

The group vet volunteer’s dogs to ensure they are sociable, have a good temperament and are otherwise suitable to serve as therapy dogs. John added: “It was seeing the benefits to residents that inspired me to start volunteering with Therapy Dogs Nationwide with Rex.

“I met our assessor in a Tesco car park and hadn’t realised she’d been watching when other people approached us and made a fuss of Rex – she could tell what a big softie he is.

“We had to have a second assessment before he was approved because at our first meeting she witnessed him jump up and put his paws on my chest, but she said she knew he had what it takes to be a great therapy dog, and she was right.

“After further training it’s clear to see how sociable and reliably well-behaved Rex is, and I’m so pleased to be able to share the joy of having a dog with the lovely folk at Camelot House.”

John and Rex now make monthly visits to Camelot House, as well as fortnightly trips to Tiverton Hospital where Rex supports patients on the wards.

Dog-owners who are interested in learning more about Therapy Dogs Nationwide can contact them via their website www.tdn.org.uk