From being a conversation starter to a paw to hold in times of need, Spartacus is always there to offer support and hope to those vulnerable people in society who need his love the most.
His owner, Eileen Slattery, says: “Spartacus the Golden Retriever is a volunteer for Therapy Dogs Nationwide. He is seven years old and has been brought up on Autarky all his life, as it happens — as has my other retired therapy dog, Cosmo, who is 12.
“Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a national charity where visiting volunteers take their own dogs into establishments to give comfort, distraction, and stimulation.
“Spartacus has visited a wide group of people within the community, including residential care homes, helping to improve communication in residents and patients by evoking memories and stimulating conversation.
“He has attended a special needs school, dealing with autistic children and young adults by giving focus and providing a calming environment.
“We are now based in our local hospitals where patients and staff interact with him and look forward to his visits.
“We are proud to be part of the Kennel Club Bark and Read Programme, where he visits schools to help children develop their reading skills and build confidence.
“Spartacus has been a therapy dog for five years now and registered as Wirral Community Health and Care as their therapy dog.
“He has recently visited Parliaments in London and the Welsh Senate in Cardiff to promote the work of Therapy Dogs Nationwide.
“He is a resident therapy dog with many clinics at our local NHS Hospital, Heart Rehab, Parkinson Clinic, Midwives and District Nurses in all adjoining boroughs of the Wirral.
“We have been visiting the 111 call centres in Liverpool and Bolton as part of the Mental Health Awareness incentive. He has also visited Liverpool College to assist with their Christmas open day for the homeless, where they provided, clothing, showers, haircuts, and a Christmas lunch for so many people. Spartacus and a group of his doggy friends greeted people, helping to easy their fears and anxieties.
“He also enjoyed his visit to the Amazon distribution centre for wellbeing and suicide awareness events for the staff.
“He is a very happy and very healthy dog who never leaves a scrap of Autarky in that dish.”
If you think Spartacus’ hard work means he deserves to win the Healthcare & Assistance Dogs category, putting him in the running for the title of Autarky Hardest Working Dog 2020, then make sure you cast your vote when voting goes live on Monday 23rd March, 2020.