‘I would have to get rid of them and the dogs bring me such companionship’ - grandmother with incurable cancer needs help walking dogs
Elizabeth Elwis's pet dogs give the 77-year-old grandmother loving looks, constant companionship and trusted friendship.
But due to the severe effects of terminal cancer, Mrs Elwis finds it hard to get out to walk Poppy and Swift, who are used to fresh air every day.
She relies on volunteers to give them exercise, but without the essential help, Mrs Elwis, who lives alone near Aylsham, could be forced to separate from her beloved pets.
National charity the Cinnamon Trust provides volunteers for two days a week, but the eight and 10-year-old active dogs need more regular exercise.
The grandmother has shared her story to help the charity recruit volunteers, enabling more people to stay with their pets for longer.
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'My dogs are used to a walk every day,' said Mrs Elwis. 'Because they are so active, elderly friends can't easily walk them.'
Mrs Elwis, from Burgh, discovered she had cancer on Christmas Eve 2013. She added: 'I was treated last year for it and I thought they had zapped it, but it came back again.'
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Two volunteers currently walk her little terrier cross and Bedlington whippet cross, but with no family closer than Cambridge, she needs more help. 'It is essential I have people to help,' said Mrs Elwis. 'Otherwise I would have to get rid of them and the dogs bring me such companionship.'
A spokesman for the Cinnamon Trust, a national charity, said: 'A large number of elderly or ill pet owners become very worried about their ability to care for their pets, and feel that their only option is to rehome them, this is where our national network of dedicated volunteers step in to offer support enabling them to stay together.
'We'll walk the dog for a housebound owner, we'll foster pets when owners need hospital care, we'll fetch the cat food, even clean out the bird cage or litter trays.'
To offer help telephone 01736 758707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the charity visit www.cinnamon.org.uk
Have you got an animal story? Email email@example.com