A therapet from Dundee has hung up his lead after eight years working with the Dundee Mental Health Physiotherapy team.
Dylan, a 14-year-old labradoodle, first joined NHS Tayside in 2013 alongside his handler and owner Finlay McDonald, a physiotherapy assistant.
At the time, Finlay was working at the Sunnyside Acute Mental Health Unit and would take Dylan in to meet patients.
He was a huge success, and other departments, including referrals from Speech and Language, Psychology, Older age Psychiatry and Social Work would often request his services.
Dylan then moved offices and became a regular attendee at break times on the wards at the Carseview Centre, before eventually settling at the Dundonald Centre where he would sit with patients who were feeling particularly low or upset.
Dylan’s handler, Finlay McDonald said: “The importance of physical activity and exercise is well known and documented, however, the addition of Dylan seemed to motivate patients in a way that I could not achieve.
“Patients were keen to walk outdoors if Dylan could come. They enjoyed having him with them, taking him on the lead and giving him treats.
“The conversation would change from focusing on negative factors and patients would discuss positive things around the dog, sparking up good memories of patients who themselves had or had owned dogs in the past.
“Sometimes consultants would ask for Dylan to be in the room when they had conversations with patients as they became calmer, making conversations a lot easier.”
Gill McDonald, Physiotherapy team lead for Learning Disability and Mental Health at NHS Tayside, said: “He is such a good mannered and good natured dog, we were delighted to have him help us out within Mental Health services.
“He is not jumpy or demanding and I think this is why he worked so well with our patients.
“Dylan has been a huge hit with patients which is down to his built in radar to move towards patients who needed extra support. To watch dog and human sit in perfect peace was a lovely thing to see.
“Staff morale also improved when Dylan was around. Patients, staff, carers and the public have all enjoyed his time in service and he will be missed. We wish him a long and happy retirement.”
Dylan is looking forward to enjoying his retirement by sleeping, eating and going for walks along the beach in Arbroath.