The ancient Greeks described how horseback rides could lift the spirits and how sacred dogs would lick wounds and comfort worshippers in their temples. Pets and people were treated together in medieval Belgium with pets providing what was called natural therapy for humans. In 1700s England pets were introduced into the care of some people living with mental health difficulties.
Dogs have been a common sight around Whipps Cross Hospital for most of its history. Matrons Kathleen Fogarty and Letitia Clark both had dogs accompanying them and today therapy dogs such as Dodger and Coco make special visits.