Trinity Lodge resident reunited with her best friend Pongo

Clo and Pongo

Clo, a resident at Trinity Lodge in Lockerbie, has been reunited with her dog Pongo after staff made special arrangements for Pongo to live at the service when they could see how much Clo was missing her pet.

Clo, who has severe complex needs alongside autism, mutism, and anxiety, moved into the service in December 2023 and at first, she had to leave behind her dog of nine years, Pongo.

Both Clo and the Liver Dalmation dog struggled with the separation and the management team at Trinity Lodge undertook a risk assessment and made arrangements for Pongo to come and live at the Lodge with Clo. She was delighted to be reunited with her “best friend”.

Jenine, Clo’s mum, said: “The bond between Clo and Pongo is special. They have been together since 2015, they met when Pongo was 12 weeks old. He knows what she needs, he can read her like a book.

“Pongo helps Clo by reducing her anxiety. He responds to her sensory needs, calms her down by giving her deep pressure where he uses his body weight to provide calming sensory feedback through pressure on Clo’s body. Also, she can pet him and he is always with her. He gets her out on walks.

“Clo’s disabilities impact her every day, all the time. Due to her having complex needs, she finds it hard to communicate and live life. Also, being born with no left forearm has made it difficult for her. This means she needs care all the time.

“As her parents, we are so happy that the pair are reunited as they were both pining for each other. She was in distress without him and Pongo was so stressed.

“When they were reunited, the pair clicked together like they were never apart.

“Clo was so happy that she squealed with excitement and was jumping up and down.”

Service manager Lorraine Platt said it has made a huge amount of difference to Clo’s wellbeing to have Pongo living with her again.

She added: “Pongo makes Clo feel calmer and when she gets upset he lies with her. He also needs a good three-mile walk a day which helps Clo also. Pongo is very good with all the staff but it is always Clo who holds the leash when they are walking.

“When Clo is going somewhere Pongo cannot go with her, he enjoys lying in the office with staff waiting for her to come back.

“The vet said that Pongo was always pining for Clo. We originally thought it would work if he just visited Clo regularly, but the vet said that it was making the grieving process harder as he saw her once a week then went home and she wasn’t there. I knew we had to reunite them.

“Across our Cygnet Social Care services we work with our individuals to ensure they have more choice and control in their lives. We find out their strengths, abilities and preferences so that the care provided can be as person-centred and meaningful to each individual as possible. I am delighted we have achieved that for Clo.”

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