Fostering support dog helped steel boss’s recovery

Mark Pearson with Fudge.
Mark Pearson with Fudge.
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A SHEFFIELD steelworks boss is supporting a drive to find more foster carers for assistance dogs after welcoming one into his home helped him recover from serious illness.

Mark Pearson, the managing director of Yorkshire Fabrications, suffered liver and kidney failure in late 2015 and spent a month in hospital. His recovery was dealt a setback this year when he suffered a minor stroke.

He has credited border terrier-pug cross Fudge for being instrumental in his recovery.

Mr Pearson and his wife Carol look after Fudge at evenings and weekends at their home in Dore. Fudge is currently in training at Support Dogs, which is based near Meadowhall.

The charity, which readers of The Yorkshire Post raised £10,000 for last year in our Christmas Appeal, trains and provides specialist assistance dogs to increase independence and quality of life for children and adults with challenging conditions.

Mr Pearson said: “Having Fudge around has helped me on the road to recovery. I have a stressful job, which can see me working 13 hour days. Fudge has forced me to change my routine to the benefit of my health. Fudge is the most loving, caring dog that you will ever come across.”

Each day Mr Pearson drops Fudge at “school” in the morning and picks him up, which helps him to stick to his working hours .

He added: “Having Fudge has taken two to three hours off my daily schedule. He even comes to work with me and the team love him. He’s no bother at all – he just wonders around the office and settles under someone’s desk.”

He is backing Support Dogs’ search to find new foster carers.

The charity’s fundraising manager, Danny Anderson said: “We are so grateful to families like the Pearsons, who agree to look after our dogs while they are being trained. Mark is proof of how a dog can have such a positive impact on a life. Fudge will go on to make a huge difference to people who really need their company and support.”

Visit www.supportdogs.org.uk for more details