A Scottish Deerhound named Silas proved that sometimes man’s best friend can provide the extra bit of TLC that makes all the difference.
Silas recently made an unexpected visit to his owner, Joanna Temple, who was in intensive care at Northwick Park hospital in Harrow. Although Joanna remained largely unresponsive, Silas worked his magic with a few snuffles and a bit of toe-licking, and Joanna woke up the next day.
Dogs have been known to provide comfort and companionship to humans for centuries. Studies have shown that interacting with dogs can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health, including reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and even promoting the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin.
For critically ill patients, the presence of a dog can provide a sense of comfort and emotional support during a stressful and uncertain time. Whether it’s through gentle snuggles, a wagging tail, or playful interactions, dogs can bring joy and hope to patients and their families.
While it’s unusual to see a dog in an intensive care unit, Silas’s visit was welcomed by the intensivists at Northwick Park Hospital. Sadly, both Silas and Joanna passed away several years after this heartwarming story. However, Joanna’s brother, Bruce, recently donated a picture of Silas to the intensive care unit as a thank-you for the care his sister received.
“I still remember how great the doctors and nurses were with my sister, and I am glad the picture has found a new home,” said Bruce.
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) provides hospital and community services to the people of Harrow, Brent, and Ealing. Established on October 1st, 2014, LNWH’s team of 9,000 clinical and support staff serve a diverse population of approximately one million people.