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Dog’s life looking rosy for caring Sandy after Frettenham’s Hillside Animal Sanctuary helps her find a new home in Dereham

PUBLISHED: 15:17 17 September 2012

Sandy the Dog has been re-homed at Sandford House Care Home in Dereham - residents from left, Dorothy Smith, Gordon McKean and Audrey Chapman with Sandy. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Sandy the Dog has been re-homed at Sandford House Care Home in Dereham - residents from left, Dorothy Smith, Gordon McKean and Audrey Chapman with Sandy. Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Pottering over to the front door to see who the next visitor is before sidling up to a few armchairs hoping for a stroke from her favourite friends - life is pretty good for Sandy.

But just a few months earlier the future for the friendly little mongrel looked very bleak. Found in a dog pound in Buckinghamshire there was just days to find her a new home before she was put to sleep.

In the nick of time Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, near Norwich, came to her rescue and she is now the picture of happiness as the first dog to live at Dereham’s Sanford House nursing home.

Delighting residents and visitors alike Sandy is now the talk of the home and has certainly become part of the furniture.

Manager Joan Auton said her residents loved making a fuss of their new companion.

“They all love her to bits,” she said. “I think a bit of animal therapy is really good for them. She even goes for a walk with them into town.”

Mrs Auton said she wanted to get a dog for the home when she took over in March and saw an advert for Hillside in the EDP. “I just phoned on the off chance and they said they thought they had the type of dog I wanted. She had to not be boisterous or jumping up and not one that barked or was aggressive. I picked her up on the Friday before the Jubilee weekend and brought her here the week after. She has been here ever since, day and night.”

Judging from her waistline Sandy is not short of titbits but residents said she was very well-behaved.

Gordon McKean, originally from Edinburgh, said he had grown up with dogs and loved having her around. “I usually had a big dog, like an alsatian, that my mother was always terrified of,” he said. “Sandy goes round all of us but I did find her on my bed once.”

Dorothy Smith, 91, had also grown very attached to Sandy. “She is a lovely dog; she never jumps up at anyone and only comes in my room if she is invited.”

John Watson, who helps run Hillside, said they were delighted Sandy had found such a good home. “She literally had seven days to live at the pound but it is so sad to think dogs like her are being put to sleep. I bonded with her straight away but I knew she would be fantastic at a nursing home with all the attention she would get.”

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