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Clo and Pongo reunited!

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Clo and Pongo reunited!

A WOMAN living with severe disabilities has been reunited with her beloved dog after her care service made arrangements for them to be back living together.

Clo, who stays at Cygnet Social Care’s Trinity Lodge in Lockerbie, is delighted to have her dog Pongo back.

Staff there made it possible after seeing how much the 27-year-old was missing her pet who supports her with her day-to-day tasks and whom she calls her “best friend”.

Clo, who has severe complex needs alongside autism, mutism, and anxiety, initially had to leave her Dalmatian of nine years behind when she moved to Trinity House in December.

But the pair struggled with the separation and, after a risk assessment, Cygnet’s managers made arrangements for Pongo to move in too.

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. 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.

“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.”

And she revealed that Clo ‘squealed with excitement and was jumping up and down’ when they were reunited, adding: “The pair clicked together like they were never apart.”

Lodge manager Lorraine Platt said it has made a huge difference to Clo’s wellbeing: “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,” she said.

“We originally thought it would work if he just visited Clo regularly, but the vet said 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. I am delighted we have achieved that for Clo.”

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