A care home in Mitcham has made a resident’s dream come true, by organising a day of cuddles and play with a dog, like the one she owned as a child.

When team members at Care UK’s Cumberland care home, in Whitford Gardens, heard that resident Jean Mowforth had made a wish on the home’s wishing tree to spend another day with her childhood dog, they set about making it a reality.

Team members then brought in two-year-old rescue dog, Diego, to spend the morning with Jean.

When Jean was younger, she had two dogs called Micky and Simon, who were both miniature dachshunds, and much-loved members of Jean’s family.

Jean spent the morning stroking, walking and hugging Diego and she could not get enough of him.

Mariana Motocu, home manager at Cumberland, said: “Jean was over the moon when we brought Diego in to see her.

"We love being able to make residents’ dreams come true and help them live happy and fulfilling lives, and it was so wonderful to see Jean interacting with Diego. I’m sure it brought back lots of lovely memories for her."

But there was more to the day than bringing back good memories.

“Petting animals and being in their company has proven therapeutic benefits, particularly for those living with dementia, as it can reduce anxiety, release calming endorphins, and decrease feelings of loneliness," Ms Motocu added.

"You could see from Jean’s reaction just how engaged she was when given the opportunity to get so close to such a lovely, affectionate animal.”