Dogs are loyal, devoted companions who enrich our lives and delight us daily. But Shade the Labrador is extra special, she has led a life undertaking the exceptional role as one of Ipswich Hospital’s Therapy Dogs. 

Shade’s career as a Therapy Dog began when owner Bernadette started taking her to a nursing home.

Bernadette recalls she always “trained her to be polite and Shade learnt very early not to jump on people or bark”.

Shade not only passed her dog training but excelled, “she can wave, bow and role over” and “she will stay when she is told”.  

Shade has been a hero of the corridors of the Stroke and Rehab Ward for the last few years now.

Bernadette vividly remembers Shade would often watch football with the patients.

“Visiting the patients is the best part of her week. She always knows when someone isn’t feeling well and needs cheering up”

After a lifetime dedicating her love to others, Shade is now living out her doggie retirement with her best friend, a baby calf!

Regular town outings also give her the opportunity to spread more warmth to every passerby, “she loves people and she loves getting out”.

Her other favorite hobbies include collecting the mail with Bernadette and sipping away on a cup of hot tea!

Shade’s work is genuinely inspiring, much like the work of all therapy dogs.

Hospitals can be an overwhelming and stressful place for anyone, and therapy dogs have the incredible ability to help reduce stress, promote healing, lower blood pressure, and lift spirits.

How can you make a paws-itive difference

You can help put more Therapy Dogs like Shade into our Hospitals by making a small donation.

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