A therapet who brought so much joy to local folk has sadly passed away.
Charlie the golden retriever was a much-loved and well-kent face among Peterhead’s care homes and local groups.
Owner Sandy Hood told the Buchanie that his beloved Charlie - who had developed lymphoma - had died at the ripe old age of 12-and-a-half.
Having suffered from limited use of his left hand, Sandy (70) initially self-trained Charlie as an assistance dog to help him with carrying items.
He soon realised, however, that Charlie was an incredibly quick leaner, had an excellent temperament and was ideally-suited to becoming a therapet.
Therein began an adventure for the pair who, over the years, have visited care homes, churches and local organisations across the North-east.
Sandy said: “We visited both the Peterhead Ugie and Community Hospitals, Grange Park Home and Wyndwell Nursing Home on a rota basis.
“The residents and staff of our local care homes loved having Charlie round to visit.
“He had a very calming influence and loved all the attention. He was also trained to recognise a selection of written commands such as ‘peek’ when he would play peek-a-boo with me much to the delight of those around him.”
Every Christmas, Charlie would issue a distinctive new card to his fans complete with a poem depicting his latest festive adventure. Sandy even designed special costumes for him such as ‘Santa Paws’ and ‘Super Woof’ to bring a touch of theatre to their visits.
Charlie also became a community ambassador for the Aberdeen Music Hall where he would lie contentedly listening to the concerts with Sandy.
The duo also did their bit to raise £4,000 for the the Music Hall with a special Christmas card. Meanwhile, although Sandy will miss his loyal companion, he is nevertheless looking for a new assistance helper. With the help of the Dogs Trust, Sandy hopes to locate a suitable canine chum to take on support duties and perhaps even make a few therapet calls of his own.