Eric Wardle and his wife Nicky are now the proud owners of one of the original Snowdogs, Arthur. Arthur was created by local artist and St Oswald’s supporter Jeff Rowland. Eric, originally from Gateshead but now living in Fife, Scotland had been looking for the pawfect way to support St Oswald’s since 2015 when his mum died on the Inpatient Ward at the Hospice.
My Mum was in and out of the Inpatient Ward at St Oswald’s for almost six months and sadly died in May 2015. During that time the support both my mum and the rest of the family received was fantastic. The care team were amazing and did all they could to make sure my mum was as comfortable as possible. My dad still visits the Bereavement Support team at the Hospice regularly and they have really helped him get through a very tough time.
We all really appreciate the support St Oswald’s has provided and continue to provide which is why Nicky and I were keen to do something as a thank you. Living in Fife we weren’t aware of the Snowdog trail until not long before the auction. I’d been visiting Dad and saw one in Newcastle Central Station. He told me about the trail and the fact the Snowdogs were going to be auctioned off so as soon as I got home I looked online to find out more.
When asked ‘why Arthur?’ Eric explained:
As soon as I read about Arthur I felt a connection. We could relate to the artist’s background story, that his father had also received care on the Inpatient Ward at St Oswald’s. As I hadn’t really seen any of the dogs on the trail, St Oswald’s were kind enough to let me and Dad have a look at them all backstage, before the auction. Being able to see them all close up confirmed that Arthur was the one for us and thankfully on the night we won him.
Arthur was delivered to Eric, Nicky and their family in December, just before Christmas. Originally he was placed outside, next to their pond but not long after Eric decided to bring him inside due to how wet it was. Arthur now takes pride of place in their living room – proving that a dog isn’t just for Christmas!
Arthur is very cosy in our living room now and he’s a real focal point. Everyone who visits asks about him and he gets a lot of attention. Because of the similar experience we both had with St Oswald’s we were really keen to meet up with Arthur’s creator, Jeff. We initially wrote and were then able to meet for a coffee after Christmas. It was lovely to be able to chat to Jeff and we have sent him photos of Arthur so he’s able to see where he’s now living and that he’s well looked after!
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