My name is Flax and I’m a Staffy cross. This is my story…

I’m a very social dog. My original owners often left me unattended and with the gate open, so I would take the opportunity to go for a walk. I didn’t realise I was not supposed to do this. The dog rangers kept finding me wandering, and one day I ended up in the Pound as the owners weren’t allowed to have me anymore. Fortunately, a person from Dogwatch came to visit me and took me back to the Dogwatch Sanctuary.

Some people think Staffies are a little scary but really I’m a big softie as long as you are kind to me. I was a bit wary of men initially as they had sometimes been mean to me. It didn’t take long for the staff to realise I was a pretty cool dog so they started looking for my forever home. One day a lady called Paula came in to adopt a Lab as her golden retriever had died. But, she was a nurse working full time, and the Lab had special needs so they suggested me! I landed on all four paws when she decided to take me home. And to be fair, Paula landed on her feet too because I have a lovely way with people.

A friend of Paula’s thought my people skills were so good that I would make an excellent therapy dog so I now visit patients at Burwood Hospital. A few of the staff looked a little concerned when I turned up because they had negative associations with staffies, but I won them over! Now they joke I provide staff therapy as well as patient therapy. In fact, I’m quite famous as I have featured in a book about therapy dogs, and appeared on TV. It’s so good to be able to give something back after I was given a second chance at life.

The patient and the OT both seem to like my ears!
With my best mate Dave, back from a hill walk and feeling weary
I wear a jacket at work so people know I’m working