Meet the four-legged friend cheering up Royal patients

Every Tuesday, Sandy the groodle puts on her work 'uniform' for a very special job.

"The minute I put on her Delta bandanna at home her tail starts wagging – she knows where she's going," her owner, retired police officer Erich Fiala, said.

Sandy is a Delta Society Therapy dog funded by the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation to cheer up patients undergoing chemotherapy and keep them company during their ordeal.

Once a week, she makes her rounds visiting the patients and putting smiles on everyone's faces.

Helen Picker was one lucky patient to receive a visit from Sandy, while she recovered in hospital following surgery as part of her cancer treatment.

The 78-year-old hails from Boorowa near Young in the south-west of NSW so she was a long way from home and relished the company of a friendly, albeit furry, face.

"I just thought she was absolutely beautiful," Helen said.

"She sort of came up to me and put her paws up on the side of my bed and just looked straight into my eyes and she just made me feel so relaxed."

Elise Jennings, General Manager of The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, said the therapy dogs play a special and important part in brightening the day and spirits of women in the gynaecology oncology ward and chemotherapy room.

"We can see the difference it makes to patients and families, and we're glad The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation can provide ongoing funding and make this program possible. Seeing the smiles the therapy dogs bring to patients and staff tell the story," Elise says.

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Sandy the groodle