Louis the yellow labrador keeps himself busy volunteering at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, in addition to his work at Petersfield Hospital.

Louis the yellow labrador wears a yellow vest with "Pets as Therapy" in blue writing, looking at the camera
Louis switches into work mode as soon as his yellow uniform is on

This episode, Louis joins a monthly session for those who serve or have served in the military. Led by Keith Malcolm, Armed Forces Covenant Lead Nurse, the session is tucked away in a welcoming space, just off the hospital canteen. The session is open to patients, relatives and carers who have served – they can relax with others who have experience of and understand life in the services.

In this gentle episode, we accompany Louis through the hospital on his way to work and get a sense of the impact of his presence on patients, relatives and carers through his interactions. 

Madelaine Smies smiles at the camera with Louis by her side, sitting.
Louis and his owner, Madelaine Smies also visit Petersfield Hospital regularly

Louis is just one of around 15 or so of the Pets as Therapy team of volunteers at QA, whose contribution to hospital life was recognised, uniquely, by the Volunteer Award at the Parliamentary NHS Awards 2023. They were the only non-human team shortlisted, and we hear a little from owner Madelaine Smies about the trip to Westminster to pick up the award.

Other therapy dogs

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Find out more about volunteering with Pets as Therapy.