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Wiltshire dog honoured for visiting sick children

Friday, 8th April 2011

A pooch from Wiltshire may well get some new dog chew toys after being honoured at an award ceremony.

Muppet, a Cocker Spaniel owned by Leisl De Lafontaine, was named the HiLife Pets As Therapy (PAT) Dog of the Year, reports

The friendly pooch won the award for visiting sick children at the Royal United Hospital in Bath for the past five years.

Over this time, Muppet has brought comfort to hundreds of children. Ms De Lafontaine explained that she and her pooch visit the hospital for a few hours every week.

She said that both the patients and Muppet enjoy the experience and that she brought comfort to one girl in particular.

Emily Paxford, a young cancer patient who died earlier this year, was extremely fond of Muppet.

Ms De Lafontaine told the news provider: "Emily was a fantastic little girl with a wicked sense of humour.

"She loved Muppet dearly. Her parents even came to Crufts to see Muppet get her award, which was really lovely. Her dad sent me a text saying: 'We are here and we are totally overwhelmed'."

Muppet was voted as Dog of the Year by a celebrity panel that included Pam St Clement from EastEnders, celebrity chef James Martin and actress Lisa Riley.