Lyndsey Uglow is the lead therapy dog handler at Southampton Children's Hospital (SCH).
A team of furry helpers
She's in charge of some super-cute (and super-friendly) Golden Retrievers who used to spend their days visiting sick children at the hospital. One of the lot is Leo, who won the Crufts Friends For Life Award back in March.
But due to the coronavirus lockdown, these helpful pooches are off duty for the foreseeable future. So Lyndsey came up with another way to help patients get their daily pooch fix: dog-themed colouring books!
Speaking to the Southern Daily Echo, Lyndsay said:
"We found a way to maintain the presence of therapy dogs...we had the idea of creating a 'pawtrait' of the seven Golden Retrievers to give to patients which they can colour in and share."
Hospital staff and parents can print the puppy-shaped templates from @SCHtherapydogs on Twitter or Facebook. Alternatively, they're available as downloads for colouring in apps on a tablet or laptop.
And although they're a far cry from the real thing, the new templates are still a big help. Researchers have found that colouring in (as well as other creative activities) reduces stress and promotes a whole set of positive emotions.
You can't beat the real thing
More importantly, a positive emotional state can even speed up your recovery from a physical injury, illness, and even surgery.
Still, let's hope the dogs can get back to work sooner rather than later.