Newcastle Hospitals’ staff welfare hound ‘Poppy Jingles’ is putting her paws up and retiring after nearly five years of dedicated service.
The springer spaniel – accompanied by her owner and our head of chaplaincy Katie Watson – has become a familiar furry face across the trust and her ‘pat and chat’ and ‘mooch with the pooch’ sessions have proved a huge hit with staff in need of some care and wellbeing time.
She’s also been the subject of a published journal article about her work as an NHS staff welfare hound and found herself in the starring cast of Channel 4’s ‘Geordie Hospital’ – leading to a flurry of followers on her own twitter handle @poppy_hound.
On Friday (11 November) she’s opting for the quieter life – a comfy couch back at home, lots of treats and leisurely walks with the family.
“It will be Poppy’s 10th birthday, which is 70 in human terms, so it’s the right time for her to retire,” said Katie.
“She’s adored by staff, who always look forward to her visits, and her calming presence has had a real impact on them, plus she’s been spoilt rotten over the years – I know she’ll miss the black pudding at the chaplaincy team breakfasts but I’m sure we can accommodate that at home!”
Looking towards the future and the important role she fulfils, Poppy (and Katie) have been currently training an apprentice – a young Labrador called Fern – who is hoping to get her own Trust ID badge and welfare hound jacket early next year.