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Beagle Basil brings calm to bereaved

Shrewsbury-based Clive Pugh Funeral Directors believe they have the UK’s first funeral therapy dog ...

Seven-year-old beagle Basil's main job is comforting bereaved families when they come in to make arrangements after the death of a loved one.

Basil is known for putting families at ease, playing with any children present and being a caring, comforting presence. The funeral parlour provides a leaflet explaining Basil’s role and giving families the choice of whether they want him to be present during funeral discussions.

Clive and Rosalinda Pugh explain on their website: “We affectionately call Basil our ‘Comfort Companion’. Basil follows the lead of service dogs often used in health care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes. He provides families with unconditional love and support, as well as a subtle distraction from grief.

"When you have suffered a bereavement in the family, it can seem like nothing can make you feel better. That is, until you get a cuddle from a therapy dog. ”

Basil recently featured in Dogs Today magazine, and received a “Good Boy” hamper from Armitage Pet Care in recognition.

“We hope that for those experiencing grief when they come to us, having Basil will put smiles on their faces, at least for a moment,” say Clive and Rosalinda.

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