What a difference a dog can make

Grandmother, Jean Lawrence, knew as soon as she met Scampi that she had found a new friend. During a week of training the little terrier, who came from a rescue centre, had already found a place in Jean s heart. But when she brought him back to her Ely ho

Grandmother, Jean Lawrence, knew as soon as she met Scampi that she had found a new friend.

During a week of training the little terrier, who came from a rescue centre, had already found a place in Jean's heart.

But when she brought him back to her Ely home she realised his practical skills would open up a whole new life for her.

"Basically I was depressed and not coping very well with my hearing loss nor the effects on my family," said Jean. "I felt isolated from my friends and family because of my deafness, miserable because my hearing loss and other health problems left me unable to work and pressured because I was constantly trying to understand what people were saying.

"I was confused by all the changes. Some friends stuck by me and some gave up the fight for communication. I knew what it meant to feel alone in a crowd."

Scampi proved in a very short time that he could make up for the hearing that Jean had lost and help her reclaim her place in the hearing world.

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When Jean's father, who lived alone, was dying from cancer Jean and Scampi were able to stay with him, allowing him to remain in his own home.

"I was able to stay overnight at dad's knowing that Scampi would wake me for the smoke alarm, dad's call or my alarm clock. With his help I could cook and use the cooker timer and microwave, I could even pass dad the ringing phone.

"I noticed, too, that Scampi put to good use the unconditional love that dogs can give. He quietly snuggled up on dad's lap yet he still worked magnificently. Undoubtedly without Scampi's help dad would have gone into a home or hospital."re Jean's granddaughter was born Scampi was trained to alert Jean to all the sounds she would need for babysitting, including responding to the baby monitor.

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