A dog which suffered severe abuse while living on the streets in Lebanon will appear on BBC’s The One Show after striking up a special bond with a Steyning woman.
Maggie was rescued from Lebanon and relocated to Sussex after being found seriously injured by volunteers for the Wild at Heart Foundation charity.
The dog had severe injuries, having been blinded by a gunshot, having one ear cut off and suffering a broken jaw.
After being treated and rehomed by Brighton woman Kasey Carlin, Maggie has begun training as a therapy dog and has developed a close bond with Anne Smith, who lives at Croft Meadow care home in Steyning.
Maggie visits the home regularly and, despite being blind, is able to find the way to Anne’s room, where the 82-year-old gives her treats.
Maggie’s story, including the friendship with Anne, recently caught the attention of producers on the BBC’s The One Show and they got in touch with Maggie’s new owner for permission to film the two together.
Filming recently took place for the programme and it is due to be screened on BBC One tomorrow, May 15.
Maggie is also working on the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen dog training programme, recognised as a gold standard of behaviour training for dogs in the community and a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups.
Sharalee Thrumble, home manager at Croft Meadow, said: “Despite Maggie’s horrific injuries, she is so playful and full of life. Her new owner decided to bring her into the home and she immediately clicked with the residents, especially Anne.
“The friendship between them does not only serve to highlight Maggie’s story but also shows how interaction with animals can have a genuinely positive emotional benefit for residents like Anne.
“Like many of the residents, she used to have pets of her own, so being able to play with Maggie helps bring back happy memories for her. At Croft Meadow, we are always keen to promote wellbeing initiatives outside of the norm and the success of this friendship is a great example of that.”